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'Mountain of Fire' erupts

May 15, 2006 13:37 IST

Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano, one of the most menacing volcanoes in the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' spewed hot clouds and ash rain early on Monday.

There was no confirmation, though, of reports of fresh lava flows from the 'Mountain of Fire'.

Reports said that the mountain 'exploded' in the pre-dawn hours with lava and hot ash.

Villagers who had not evacuated their homes gathered on roadsides along the slopes of the volcano, which rises from the plains of Indonesia's densely populated Java Island.

They were told to stand by for possible evacuation.

Photograph: AFP/Getty Images