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You are here News International Indonesia volcano erupts; 2 killed, 100K evacuate

Indonesia volcano erupts; 2 killed, 100K evacuate

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Indonesia volcanoA major volcanic eruption on Indonesia's most heavily populated island blasted clouds of ash and debris 18 kilometers (12 miles) into the air on Friday, killing two people while forcing authorities to evacuate more than 100,000 and close six airports.

The explosive overnight eruption of Java island's Mount Kelud could be heard up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) away, Indonesia's disaster agency said.

"The eruption sounded like thousands of bombs exploding," Ratno Pramono, a 35-year-old farmer, said after returning from an evacuation center to check on his property in the village of Sugihwaras, around five kilometers (three miles) from the crater. "I thought doomsday was upon us. Women and children were screaming and crying."

Ash and grit fell to earth in towns and cities across the region, including Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city after Jakarta, with a population of about 3 million. It also fell even farther afield in Yogyakarta, where motorists switched on headlights in daylight, and lay five centimeters (two inches) deep in some places.

A 60-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman were killed in the village of Pandansari near the mountain when the roofs of their homes collapsed under the weight of the ash and volcanic debris unleashed during the eruption, the disaster agency said.

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