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Indonesia volcano gathers in strength

[ 2010-11-02 13:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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Indonesia's most volatile volcano - one of 22 being closely watched following an increase in activity - unleashed its most powerful eruption in a deadly week on Monday, spewing searing clouds of gas and debris thousands of meters into the air. There were no immediate reports of new casualties.

Hundreds of kilometers to the west, a break in weather was helping rescuers get aid to victims of a 6-meter-high tsunami that slammed into several remote islands, sweeping entire villages to sea.

The twin disasters, occurring simultaneously on opposite ends of the seismically charged country, have killed nearly 500 people in the last week, while severely testing the government's emergency response network.

In both cases, the military has been called in to help.

Almost all villagers living along Mount Merapi's rumbling slopes have been evacuated, some forcibly by camouflaged troops, though many have insisted on returning to their homes during the day to check on livestock and crops.

The latest eruption was accompanied by several deafening explosions.

More than 1,300 kilometers to the west, boats and helicopters were ferrying aid to the most distant corners of the Mentawai Islands, where last week's tsunami destroyed hundreds of homes, schools, churches and mosques. The tsunami death toll had reached 450 by Monday

Indonesia, a vast island nation of 235 million people, straddles a series of fault lines and volcanoes known as the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Indonesia volcano gathers in strength

About the broadcaster:

Indonesia volcano gathers in strength

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.