Danger zone reduced as Indonesian eruption weakens
Yogyakarta, Indonesia (AFP) Nov 19, 2010
The deadly eruption of Indonesia's Mount Merapi has weakened allowing the government to further reduce the restriction zone around the mountain, a volcanologist said Friday.
The eruption's "intensity has decreased significantly for about two weeks," government's volcanologist Surono said adding that officials decided to reduce the danger zone for the second time since last weekend.
In the most threatened areas, south of the crater, the zone was reduced to 15 kilometres from 20 kilometres.
More than 270 people died after Merapi exploded on November 5 in its biggest eruption in more than a century.
The volcano, a sacred landmark in Javanese tradition whose name translates as "Mountain of Fire", killed around 1,300 people in 1930 but experts say the current eruptions are its biggest convulsions since 1872.
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