Since its initial eruptions on October 25th, Indonesia’s Mount Merapi continues to spew hot gases and ash as far as 5,000 meters into the atmosphere, wreaking havoc on surrounding villages and farms, and disrupting air travel - and more than 140 people have been killed by the eruptions over the past two weeks. Hundreds of thousands of residents have been displaced, many of them living in temporary shelters until the Indonesian government reduces the existing 20 km “safe zone”, and allows them and their livestock to return.
Mount Merapi volcano spews smoke as seen from Deles village in Klaten, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, November 1, 2010.
Mount Merapi, viewed from Sidorejo village in Klaten on November 1, 2010.
The hand of a victim of the eruption of Mount Merapi, among body bags at a hospital morgue in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010.
A view from a domestic flight from Denpasar to Yogyakarta that was subsequently diverted to Surabaya airport shows a plume of gas and ash billowing some 10 km (six mi) high from Mount Merapi, during an eruption on November 4, 2010.
Mount Merapi spews lava and smoke as it erupted again on Wednesday as seen from Sidorejo village in Klaten on November 3, 2010.
Molten lava flows from the crater of Mount Merapi captured in this long exposure photograph taken from Klaten district in Central Java province late on November 2, 2010.
Lightning strikes as Mount Merapi erupts, as seen from Ketep village in Magelang, Indonesia’s Central Java province November 6, 2010.
Mt. Merapi spewed ash and smoke in Indonesia Wednesday. Merapi, which has been erupting for more than a week, has killed dozens of people and caused the evacuation of tens of thousands.
Indonesia was rocked by two separate disasters earlier this week - a 7.7-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami on Monday that swept onto the Mentawai Island chain in western Indonesia, and less than 24 hours later and a few hundred miles away, Mount Merapi erupted multiple times, unleashing searing pyroclastic flows that destroyed villages and blanketed the countryside in ash. Rescue personnel are only now reaching some of the more remote areas, but as of this writing, it is estimated that nearly 300 people were killed by the tsunami, and at least 30 died near Mount Merapi.
A man watches Mount Merapi as seen from Kaligendol, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.