Indonesia's most volatile volcano spews ash in new eruption

Indonesia’s most volatile volcano on Sunday spewed ash and hot gas in a massive column up to 3.7 miles high.

Mount Merapi's clouds of ash, accompanied by a rumbling sound heard miles away, blanketed several villages on the main island of Java.

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center did not raise Merapi's alert status, which already was at the third-highest level since the volcano began erupting last August.

THE "RING OF FIRE' EXPLAINED

Villagers living on Merapi’s fertile slopes are advised to stay 1.8 miles from the crater’s mouth and should be aware of the peril of lava, the agency said.

The 9,737-foot mountain is the most active of 500 Indonesian volcanoes. It has rumbled and generated dark hot clouds since last year.

Mount Merapi spews volcanic materials during an eruption as seen from Sleman, Indonesia, Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Mount Merapi spews volcanic materials during an eruption as seen from Sleman, Indonesia, Sunday, June 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi)

Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 353 people.

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Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines around the ocean.