Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano in central Java could erupt at any moment, and a local government official says more than 11,000 area residents will be evacuated Monday afternoon, Reuters reports.
"We will evacuate 11,491 people living within 10 km from the top. We will work together with the military and police to evacuate them," local regent Sri Purnomo told Elshinta radio, Reuters reports.
Government volcanologist Surono, head of Indonesia's vulcanology and geological disaster mitigation center, raised the volcano's alert status to the highest alert level Monday.
"We recommended evacuation for people living on the slopes, especially the southern, southeastern and eastern slopes," Surono said in the Reuters report.
"We cannot estimate when it will erupt or how big the eruption will be, but we had to increase the volcano's status to top alert based on its activities," Surono said.
The volcano has released twice as much energy in the past two day than it has in recent eruptions, Surono said.
The 9700-foot-tall Mount Merapi is Indonesia's most active volcano, erupting every couple of years, with major eruptions every few decades. An eruption in 2006 was accompanied by an earthquake which killed 5,000 people; 43 were killed in an eruption in 1994, and a 1930 eruption killed 1400, according to Universetoday.com.
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