JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An official in Indonesia says thousands of people are being evacuated after Mount Kelud on densely populated Java island erupted.
Muhammad Hendrasto, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center, says the mountain in Kediri regency erupted late Thursday, about 90 minutes after authorities raised its status to the highest level.
Hendrasto urged about 200,000 people living in 36 villages within the danger zone of 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the crater to evacuate.
A series of huge blasts unleashing stones and gravel caused panic among villagers who immediately fled to safer areas.
In 1990, Kelud spewed searing fumes and lava that killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds. In 1919, a powerful explosion that reportedly could be heard hundreds of miles away killed at least 5,160.