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Indonesian tsunami kills 108-plus, Merapi erupts

Reuters/Dwi Oblo

At least 108 people have died and more than 500 people are missing on a group of Indonesian islands hit by a tsunami, according to local officials. And the country’s most active volcano Mount Merapi has erupted three times and continued to do so Tuesday night.

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"Our latest data from the crisis centre showed that 108 people have been killed and 502 are still missing," Hendri Dori Satoko, an MP from the Mentawai islands, told MetroTV.

The tsunami was started by an earthquake west of Sumatra.

Elsewhere in the archipelago, a three-month-old baby has died - the first reported fatality from three eruptions by Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano. At least 30 people are reported injured.

"We heard three explosions around 06:00 pm (1100GMT) spewing volcanic material as high as 1.5 kilometres and sending heat clouds down the slopes," government volcanologist Surono told the AFP news agency.

The eruption is bigger than the 2006 eruption, which killed two people, he said.

The authorities put an area of 10 kilometres around the crater of on red alert Monday, ordering 19,000 people to flee. But 15,000 of them ignored the order or returned during Tuesday to work and tend cattle.

Merapi’s deadliest eruption occurred in 1930 when more than 1,300 people were killed. Heat clouds from another eruption in 1994 killed more than 60 people.

 

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