Skip to main content

Indonesian volcano erupts, killing 3 and grounding flights

By Kathy Quiano and Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 12:22 PM EST, Fri February 14, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Deaths caused by smoke inhalation and collapsing wall
  • Flights at area airports are canceled because of the ash
  • Indonesian government raises its eruption alert to its highest level
  • Mount Kelud last erupted in 2007; a 1990 eruption was deadly

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- A volcano eruption in Indonesia killed three people and forced tens of thousands more out of their homes, the disaster management agency said Friday.

Two died from smoke inhalation while the third was hit by a collapsing wall. Officials had originally reported two deaths due to falling building debris.

Mount Kelud in the eastern part of the main island Java has been spewing ash for at least two days high into the air, as a smoke plume has risen from out of its crater into the sky.

The government raised its eruption alert to its highest level overnight, and authorities have ordered an evacuation of all residents in a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) radius of the volcano in eastern Java.

Indonesian Volcano forces evacuations

At the height of the crisis Friday, 100,000 people evacuated, but that number later dropped to more than 75,000.

Seven airports closed due to volcanic ash, which filled the skies and can lead to jet engine problems.

Lightning was seen striking the volcano's peak as it spewed debris, according to National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

The nation's volcanology agency said other smaller eruptions could happen. Authorities urged people to stay outside the 10-kilometer radius.

Pictures from the scene show large black plumes rising over Mount Kelud, raining pebbles and ash on the surrounding area.

The military has been called in to help evacuate people from the area to nearby shelters.

Mount Kelud last erupted in 2007, but it has recently ramped up activity in the past 10 days.

In 1990, an eruption killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds.

Indonesia is part of the vast "Pacific Ring of Fire," an area of colliding continental plates where powerful earthquakes and volcanic eruptions often occur.

This isn't Indonesia's only volcano problem

December: Volcano in El Salvador erupts for first time in 37 years

CNN's Brian Walker contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
updated 9:31 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
updated 7:40 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
In a plot straight out of Hollywood, federal agents gain access to a suspected Triad boss' Vegas hotel room by pretending to fix the Internet connection.
updated 12:34 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Was it only black and Latino men who harassed a woman in NYC? The filmmaker has found himself in a race controversy.
updated 5:52 PM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
The history of human rights often overlooks the struggles of gay people. This must change.
updated 9:15 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
updated 4:43 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT