Jakarta. Indonesia’s most active volcano Mount Merapi was shooting clouds of ash high into the sky on Thursday after a series of major eruptions, and an alert status remains in force, an official said.
“Merapi’s intensity has slowed down, but small eruptions still occur and its status is still alert,” government volcanologist Raden Sukhyar said.
“The volcano still belches volcanic ash. It just shot ash up to 1,000 metres high at 6:00 a.m. today, but the ash had no potential to reach anywhere other than the slope of Merapi,” he said.
Since Mount Merapi started erupting in late October, a total of 194 people have perished and more than 360,000 people have been forced to live in makeshift camps outside the danger zone.
The airport serving the nearest city of Yogyakarta airport, which lies around 25 kilometers south of the volcano — has been closed until Monday because of the ash.
Although there has been no report of volcanic ash clouding the area around the capital, dozens of international flights to and from Jakarta airport have also been cancelled for safety reasons.
The United States told its citizens to urge caution when traveling to Indonesia due to the possibility of delayed flights.