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Rumbling volcano sparks panic in Indonesia

Volcanologists observe the crater of Mount Kelud at the Kediri regency, East Java September 23, 2007.
REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas

Hundreds of Indonesians have begun evacuating the slopes of a rumbling volcano in East Java following increased levels of toxic fumes and tremors. The country's volcanological survey raised Mount Kelud's alert status to the second-highest level on Sunday, followin
g increased activity. A mix of carbon dioxide and toxic substances seven times normal levels has been recorded from the volcano in recent days, prompting authorities to isolate the area. "We have advised everyone to stay away within a radius of 5 km (3 miles) from the volcano in anticipation of an eruption that could take place any moment. We have reason to believe that the magma is very close to the crater's surface." About 100,000 people, mostly farmers, live on the slopes of Mount Kelud. Many people in villages nearest to the crater, located on the borders of the safe zone, have already left their homes. A 1919 eruption of Mount Kelud caused the lake in its crater to burst through the volcano rim and sent boiling water down its slopes, killing 5,000 people in 104 villages.

Lake Boils As Volcano Awakes


Philippines Volcano: Eruption Alert Issued
Volcanologists in the Philippines have warned residents near Mt. Bulusan Volcano on Luzon Island's in Sorsogon Province, issuing urgent alerts concerning possible mud, ash, and 'lahar flows' after ash explosions early Thursday morning. A spokesman for Phivolcs urged those living near river and stream channels to evacuate to high ground. Recent heavy rains have increased the risk of flash floods and landslides. "Ground surveys... along the at the volcano's northeast flank... indicated a slight inflation of the volcano's edifice," a indication that the volcano is bulging.
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