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Some signs of normalcy after Indonesian volcano eruption

By Kathy Quiano and Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 8:13 AM EST, Sat February 15, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The volcano appears quiet on a webcam observing it; one airport reopens
  • The eruption killed at least four people
  • Indonesian government had raised its alert to the highest level
  • Mount Kelud last erupted in 2007; a 1990 eruption was deadly

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- Some things returned to normal in Indonesia on Saturday after a volcano erupted two days before, but tens of thousands of evacuees were yet to return to their homes.

The eruption of Mount Kelud shot hot ash into the sky, killing four people.

The country's national air carrier, Garunda Airlines, resumed service to Central Java, an area covered in the gray ash. The airport in the city of Semarang reopened.

Six more airports were closed in the wake of Kelud's outbreak.

The inundation of ash in the air can be dangerous to jet engines. It also forced tens of thousands more out of their homes, the disaster management agency said Friday.

Of those who died, two perished from smoke inhalation, while the third was hit by a collapsing wall. A fourth person died when ash caused a roof to collapse.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said all the victims lived within a 7-kilometer (4-mile) radius of the volcano. Their villages were covered in nearly 8 inches of ash and were hit by large rocks, officials said.

Mount Kelud, located in the eastern part of the main island of Java, had been spewing ash 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 by late Friday, a webcam from the nation's vulcanology society that is trained on the volcano's crater showed it to be calm.

Mount Kelud last erupted in 2007, but it has 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.

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