Indonesia eruption could last weeks: Scientists

Indonesia`s most dangerous volcano showed no sign of tiring Tuesday, belching clouds of black smoke.

Updated: Nov 02, 2010, 11:00 AM IST

Mount Merapi, Indonesia: Indonesia`s most dangerous volcano showed no sign of tiring Tuesday, belching clouds of black smoke as fiery lava lit up its cauldron. Scientists warned that the slow but deadly eruption could continue for weeks, like a "marathon, not a sprint."

The activity was accompanied by rumbling at 21 other active volcanos in Indonesia, twice the number usually on the government`s "watch" list, which raised questions about what`s causing the up tick along some of the world`s most volatile fault lines.

No casualties were reported in Mount Merapi`s latest blast, which came as Indonesia struggled to respond to an earthquake-generated tsunami that devastated a remote chain of islands. The two disasters unfolding in separate parts of the country have killed nearly 470 people and strained the government`s emergency response network.

In both events, the military has been called in to help.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 235 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanos because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the western and eastern Pacific.
Merapi, one of the world`s most active volcanoes, has killed 38 people since springing back to life just over a week ago.

Bureau Report