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Mount Kelud volcano erupts on Java; 66,000 told to get out

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Mount Kelud

INDONESIA — A volcano on the main island of Indonesia has sent plumes of smoke and ash high into the air, while tens of thousands have gone to shelters for safety, the Antara state news agency reported Thursday.

The government raised its eruption alert to its highest level overnight and authorities have ordered an evacuation of all residents in a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) radius of Mount Kelud in eastern Java.

Pictures from the scene show large black plumes rising over Mount Kelud, sparking lightning strikes and raining pebbles and ash on the surrounding area.

The military has been called in to help evacuate the area, and 66,000 people are moving to nearby shelters.

Mount Kelud last erupted in 2007, but it has recently ramped up activity in the past 10 days.

In 1990, an eruption killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds.

Indonesia is part of the vast “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area of colliding continental plates where powerful earthquakes and volcanic eruptions often occur.

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