In Pictures: Mount Kelud erupts

Much of Indonesia's most populous island of Java is under a cloud of ash, as thousands of people flee their homes.


Volcanic ash from a major eruption in Indonesia has shrouded a large swathe of Java, the country's most densely populated island. Three people have died, thousands have fled their homes and international airports have been closed.

About 200,000 people from 36 villages in a 10km radious around Mount Kelud, in the Kediri district of eastern Java, were being asked to evacuate, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Explosions from the erupting mountain could be heard 130km away in Surabaya, the country's second-largest city, and even further afield in Jogyakarta, where workers at the world's largest Buddhist temple covered statues with plastic to protect them from falling ash.

Mount Kelud is one of 130 active volcanoes in the country, which sits on the infamous "ring of fire" stretch of volcanic activity around the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier this month, 11 people died when Mount Sinabung erupted on the island of Sumatra.