Skip to main content

Indonesia hit by earthquake and more volcanic ash

From Kathy Quiano, CNN
Click to play
Volcanic activity in Indonesia
  • NEW: Mount Merapi erupted intermittently for about five hours
  • NEW: It spewed enough ash to force evacuees to move even farther away
  • No tsunami warning is issued after the earthquake off Papua
  • There are no reports of damage or injuries so far

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupted several times Wednesday, while an earthquake struck off of the coast of Papua, far to the east of the volcano.

Mount Merapi, in central Java, spewed plumes intermittently for about five hours, sending out enough ash to prompt authorities to extend the danger zone an extra 5 km, to a 15 km radius from the volcano.

The extension forced thousands of evacuees to seek shelter farther away, a local journalist told CNN.

Mount Merapi's lava and ash have 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 houses 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.

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake off the eastern Indonesian coast Wednesday did not prompt tsunami warnings from Indonesia's Bureau of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics or the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

There are no reports of damage or injuries so far.

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

CNN's Kathy Quiano contributed to this report.