Mount Merapi volcano erupts as ‘river of lava’ spotted flowing down slopes

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Mount Merapi in Indonesia has forced residents to flee after the volcano erupted with a river of lava spotted flowing down its slopes.

Gas clouds also filled the air near the volcano, prompting concern over the stability of the volcano, which sits near to Magelang and Sleman districts on Java.

In footage posted to Twitter, residents could be seen running across the road as grey and white smoke billowed out of the mountain in the background.

Brave locals could also be seen watching the smoke come towards them as they stood looking at Merapi close to a dense forest area.

At this stage, it is unclear if anyone has been injured in Merapi’s latest burst, but prayers have flooded in for those living near to the active volcano.

One user said: "Stay safe everyone. Prayers for the slopes of Merapi. May we all be safe."

A second said: "Prayers to all those whose houses are near the mountain, stay safe."

Hanik Humaida, the Head of Yogyakarta's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre, said the volcano’s latest lava flow was the biggest since Merapi's danger level was upgraded in November 2020.

During its last eruption, authorities evacuated nearly 2000 people living on the mountain, but reports claim that most have since returned.

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