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Mount Merapi volcano spews searing ash after lull

Lava flows from Mount Merapi volcano as seen from Sidorejo village in the district of Klaten, central Java, October 31, 2010. Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted again on Saturday morning, spewing ash into the sky, and prompting authorities to extend the danger radius by two kilometres (1.24 miles). GETTY IMAGES / REUTERS/Andry Prsetyo

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October 31, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — Mount Merapi is spewing another searing cloud of ash down its slopes after a lull in activity.

Monitoring official Subandrio says the new blast Sunday came after thousands of people who had fled the area rushed back to check on their homes. Their fate is still unclear.

Mount Merapi began erupting on Tuesday, forcing more than 50,000 to evacuate. The blasts have so far killed 38 people even as Indonesia struggles to respond to a tsunami created by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit remote islands and killed nearly 450 .

Indonesia lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a series of fault lines in the earth’s surface that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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