Three dead, flights disrupted as Indonesia volcano erupts

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A man wears a mask as he rides a becak, a kind of rickshaw, on a road covered with from Mount Kelud, in Yogyakarta, Feb. 14, 2014.
A major volcanic eruption in Indonesia has killed three people and prompted the evacuation of at least 200,000 others.
Mount Kelud, located on Java island, erupted late Thursday, sending a cloud of ash 30 kilometers into the atmosphere.
The cloud dumped a heavy coating of ash and rocks on villages as far as 500 kilometers away, sending panicked residents fleeing.
Officials said two people were killed when their houses collapsed due to the weight of the volcanic debris.
Several international airports in the region were closed because of reduced visibility and the threat of debris to plane engines.
Scientists expect the worst of the eruptions are over, but several smaller tremors were felt Friday.
Indonesia has around 130 active volcanoes.
Last month, the eruption of Mount Sinabung on Sumatra island killed 16 people, forced thousand to flee and damaged crops.
The 1,731-metre Mount Kelud has claimed more than 15,000 lives since 1500, including around 10,000 deaths in a massive 1568 eruption.
The last major eruption was in 1990, when the volcano kicked out searing fumes and lava that killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds.
Source: VOA and agencies

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