Indonesian volcano erupts

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Indonesia’s Mount Kelut has erupted, according to a volcanologist, causing panic among residents living in the areas. “The first eruption was detected at 4:15pm (0915 GMT),” Agus Budianto said on yesterday. He cautioned that no visual confirmation of an eruption of lava or ash was possible due to heavy cloud shrouding the peak, located in densely populated East Java and just 90km from Indonesia’s second city of Surabaya. An AFP correspondent at the scene said some locals reported hearing an explosion before panic broke out, but the explosion could not immediately be confirmed with scientists.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from the fertile slopes of the historically deadly volcano, but an unknown number have refused to budge, evading patrolling police and soldiers. Mount Kelut has been on high alert for more than two weeks but activity escalated dramatically on Friday, triggering fresh rounds of evacuations carried out by troops and local officials using hundreds of trucks.

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