Mount Merapi in Central Java experienced what officials call a phreatic eruption, which is a phenomenon caused by the heating and expansion of groundwater.
The volcano started to erupt at 7.32 am on Friday morning, with the thick plume of smoke reaching a height of 5,500m above the summit, Indonesia’s Research and Development Center for Geological Disaster Technology has said.
The Sleman Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) in Yogyakarta has instructed residents and visitors within a 5-kilometer radius of Merapi to evacuate the area.
The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has assured that Merapi’s status remains “normal”, and that the agency would continue to monitor the eruption, Sutopo said.
The eruption also caused minor tremors felt by people in surrounding cities, including in Surakarta, Boyolali and Klaten.
Photo courtesy of Reuters