Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano spews ash

JAKARTA (Nov 18, 2013): One of Indonesia's most dangerous volcanoes, Mount Merapi, roared back to life on Monday, spewing ash 1,000 metres into the sky, a disaster management official said.

Merapi's eruption appeared to have been triggered by a minor earthquake and authorities had not raised the volcano alert status from normal, said Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

"There had been no increase in Merapi's activity before," he said.

A series of eruptions at Merapi, located near the central Java city of Yogyakarta, left more than 350 people dead and forced 300,000 people from their homes in 2010.

Separately, the Mount Sinabung volcano in Indonesia's North Sumatra province continued its activity on Monday, belching hot ash 8,000 metres into the air, Nugoroho said.

More than 5,000 people have fled their homes since Sinabung began a series of eruptions two months ago, prompting authorities to raise the alert status to the second-highest level.

Mount Sinabung had been dormant for 400 years before it erupted in August 2010.

There are nearly 130 active volcanoes across the Indonesian archipelago, and eruptions are common. – dpa