Indonesian authorities in Central Java have begun evacuating thousands of inhabitants living in the slope of Mount Merapi since the top red alert of eruption was issued, officials said on Tuesday.

Mount Merapi which is 2,968 meters high, located in densely populated area of Central Java, has shown increased seismic activity, including hundreds of tremors and spewing lava, since the warning was raised to the highest level on Monday. Over 10,000 people live in the slope of the mountain and 40,000 others near the volcano, the official said.

Volunteers, soldiers and officials have helped women, children, elderly to leave the dangerous zone at radius of 10 kilometers from the volcano, while others escaped the area by themselves, said Teguh Raharjo, an official at Disaster and Mitigation Management Agency in Yogyakarta.

Mount Merapi last erupted in 2006 killing two people, after eruption in 1994 that left 60 dead. Some 1,300 people died in an eruption in 1930.

Indonesia, which lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone with tense volcanic and seismic activities, has 129 active volcanoes.


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