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Death toll climbs from Indonesian volcano erruptions

From Andy Saputra, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: More than 203,000 people are displaced by the volcano
  • Volcano Merapi started its recent eruptions on October 26
  • Activity is on the decline but the government's alert remains at its highest level
  • Merapi is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes and lies in a densely populated area

(CNN) -- The death toll from recent eruptions of Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano climbed to 304 Sunday after searchers found bodies buried in the ashes on its slopes, the country's disaster coordination board said.

A report on the board's website Sunday said 467 people were injured and still admitted to hospitals, while 203,449 had been displaced.

Activity of the volcano, which started its recent eruptions on October 26, has decreased, the report said. But the government's volcano alert remains at its highest level.

The toll keeps rising as rescuers search for victims of the volcano.

Merapi, which looms on the horizon north of the major city of Yogyakarta, is on the island of Java. The volcano has a summit elevation of almost 3,000 meters (10,000 feet). It is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes and lies in one of the world's most densely populated areas. Many people raise crops and livestock in its shadow.

Many of those who live on its slopes risked their lives by staying or returning to feed their cows during lulls in the volcanic activity. About 1,300 people died when the volcano erupted in 1930.