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Eruption at Mount Merapi, Indonesia

Eruption at Mount Merapi, Indonesia

The eruption of Mount Merapi continues after almost two weeks of nearly constant activity. On November 8, 2010, the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center reported an ash cloud at 25,000 feet (7,600 meters), stretching at least 60 nautical miles (110 kilometers) west-southwest of the summit. The Indonesian Government established a danger zone extending 20 km (12 miles) from Merapi. Despite widespread evacuations, the eruption has killed at least 156 people, according to CNN. The primary dangers are avalanches of hot volcanic gases and rock, called pyroclastic flows, and mudslides of volcanic material mixed with rainwater, called lahars. According to the Jakarta Globe, lahars streaming down the Code River reached Yogyakarta, 30 km (19 miles) from Merapi.

This natural-color satellite image shows the eruption plume on the morning of November 8, 2010. Light gray ash rises above and mixes with nearby clouds. The image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard Terra.

NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Robert Simmon.

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