Indonesia Volcanic Eruption Forces Mass Evacuations

A volcanic eruption in Indonesia has claimed the lives of at least two people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.
Posted at 6:03 AM, Feb 14, 2014

A volcanic eruption in Indonesia has claimed the lives of at least two people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

According to CNN, Java island's Mount Kelud had been spewing ash for at least two days before Thursday night's massive eruption.

The head of Indonesia's volcano monitoring agency says the mountain erupted about 90 minutes after government officials raised its alert to the highest level.

Indonesia's disaster agency says the blast could be heard from up to 125 miles away. The eruption sent a plume of ash and sand about 10 miles into the air. (Via BBC)

Thankfully, the worst seems to be over. According to The Guardian, the agency announced early Friday that the cloud was slowly clearing, and the volcano had stopped erupting.

But the disaster agency also reported two had died from smoke inhalation, and another was killed by a collapsing wall. It's unclear how many more are injured or if there are more victims. (Via CNN)

And several airports near the volcano were closed both Thursday and Friday due to limited visibility and to ensure the safety of travelers. (Via Euronews)

Up until Thursday night, Mount Kelud had been quiet since 2007. But Indonesia has seen its fair share of volcanic eruptions recently.

Earlier this month, blasts from Mount Sinabung engulfed an entire village in scalding hot ash in just minutes, leaving at least 11 dead and several others injured. (Via ITN)

Fortunately, this most recent eruption reportedly caused minimal damage to buildings, and many of those who were evacuated during the night started returning to their homes early Friday.