Mount Merapi spews more clouds of ash

42224.jpegIndonesia's Mount Merapi in central Java spewed more hot clouds of ash today, as volcanologist said such activity may last for about two months.

Today's action didn't qualify as an eruption, Subandriyo, an official at the country's Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation Center, said.

"People will be safe if they stay at least 10 kilometers (6 miles) away from the center of Merapi," Subandriyo, who uses one name, said by phone from Jakarta. They should not go back to their villages to work at their rice fields, he said, BusinessWeek reports.

The twin disasters, which unfolded simultaneously just over a week ago, have claimed nearly 470 lives and sent tens of thousands fleeing to crowded emergency shelters.

They were settling in for the long haul Wednesday, with relief operations expected to take weeks, possibly months, The Associated Press reports.


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