Volcano erupts in Indonesia forcing anyone within 3km to evacuate immediately

The volcano started to erupt at at 7:32 AM EST with the thick plume of smoke reaching a height of 5,500m above the summit

The Center for Disaster Management Control in Magelang (PUSDALOPS BPBD Magelang) said the eruption of Mount Merapi - known as Indonesia's most active volcano - is a phreatic eruption.

The government ordered residents living within three miles of the mountain to evacuate to shelters.

"Local disaster agency has instructed the villagers living in the radius 5 km from the crater to evacuate to barrack set up for evacuees". No injuries or deaths have been reported following the blast.

PT Garuda Indonesia, the country's flag carrier, has canceled 14 flights to Yogyakarta after a volcano about 19 miles north of the city erupted and forced authorities to close the local airport.

Mount Merapi has regularly erupted since around 1548.

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Mount Merapi's eruptions are minor, caused by accumulation of volcanic gases, and shouldn't lead to further outbursts, the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation at the nation's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said in a statement, adding its status is "normal".

Pyrolastic flow from a large explosion killed 27 people on November 1994, and another large eruption occurred in 2006.

Indonesia has almost 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.

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