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Last Updated: Tuesday May 16 2006 08:13 GMT

Merapi volcano 'still a threat'

Lava flows from the Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi has quietened down but scientists are warning the Indonesian volcano could still pose a deadly threat to local villagers.

Clouds of hot gas and rocks are still shooting out of the crater, but not as frequently as they were on Monday.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from the slopes of Merapi and officials are urging a further 24,000 people to move to safety.

Experts say there is no way of telling if or when the volcano will erupt.

Those living closest to the crater have been moved to mosques, schools and government buildings in a safe area.

Lava has been flowing from Mount Merapi - which means Mountain of Fire - since Thursday. But on Saturday experts raised the warning to the highest level called code red or danger level.

Mount Merapi is in the centre of Java, Indonesia's most populated island.

The country has at least 129 active volcanoes including Mount Merapi which killed 60 people in 1994 and 1,300 in 1930.

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