Indonesian Volcano Spewing Smoke, Lava

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Indonesian Volcano Spewing Smoke, Lava

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MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia - The volcano that looms above his village is spewing smoke and lava, and scientists warn it could erupt anytime. But like many people farming the fertile slopes of Mount Merapi, Ismail says there is no need to panic.

"Merapi is part of my life, as it is all of our lives around here," he said Tuesday, as the 9,700-foot mountain rumbled in the background. "We know nature, and we are not worrying."

Volcanologists watching Merapi, in the heart of densely populated Java island, disagree.

Aside from the visible signs of increased activity at its peak, sensors within the crater have detected a rise in seismic movement in recent weeks, and a major eruption is possible, they say.

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Increased activity may be sign that an eruption is near. Past eruptions killed 60 in 1992 and 1,300 in 1930.

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By YCON: posted on 19-4-2006

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