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Indonesia volcano erupts for about 7 minutes

From Kathy Quiano, CNN
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Volcanic activity in Indonesia
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eruption sends an ash cloud into the air
  • Mount Merapi has killed at least 39 people since it began erupting last week
  • More than 71,000 people have been evacuated

(CNN) -- Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupted again Wednesday morning, loudly sending an ash cloud into the air, a government volcanologist said.

The approximately seven-minute eruption sent ash clouds south toward Kali Gendol and possibly west to the Magelang district, volcanologist Heru Suparwoko said.

Mount Merapi has killed at least 39 people since it began erupting on October 26. An additional 74 have been injured and more than 71,000 people have been evacuated, according to Indonesia's National Disaster Management Board.

Residents on the volcano have repeatedly fled, returned home to check on their homes and farm animals, and fled anew with each fresh eruption.

The 3,000-meter Merapi is famously unpredictable. An eruption killed two people in 2006 and another killed more than 60 villagers in 1994. About 1,300 people died when Merapi erupted in 1930.

Also last week, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's coast, triggering a tsunami and killing at least 449. Hundreds more were injured.