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Last Updated: Monday, 17 April 2006, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Indonesian island volcano threat
Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes
Indonesia is preparing to evacuate thousands of people after a massive volcano in Java started spewing clouds of smoke and lava, officials said.

Mount Merapi, overlooking the ancient city of Jogjakarta, is on Orange Code - the second highest alert level.

More than 200 military vehicles have been deployed to evacuate villagers from the area, 460km (285 miles) west of the capital, Jakarta.

At least 60 people were killed in Mount Merapi's last major eruption in 1994.

"We are on alert so that if Merapi is about to erupt we can arrange the evacuation of villagers," government volcanologist Heru Suparwoko told AP news agency.

Mr Suparwoko, speaking from an observation station overlooking the 2,968-metre (9,737-foot) mountain, also said local officials were stocking up on medicines to be used at temporary shelters.

Mount Merapi is one of the most active of at least 129 volcanoes in Indonesia.

The country is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" - a series of volcanoes and fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and South East Asia.

One of Mount Merapi's deadliest eruptions was in 1930, killing 1,300 people.




SEE ALSO:
Thousands flee Sumatra volcano
13 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Javan volcano eruption kills two
08 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Villagers flee Java volcano
11 Feb 01 |  Asia-Pacific


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