Volcanic eruption in Indonesia closes 3 airports
Volcanic ash from a major eruption in Indonesia closed three international airports on Friday and darkened skies across a large swath of the country's most densely populated island, the Associated Press reported.
First light brought clear the extent of the overnight explosive eruption at Mount Kelud. Booms from the mountain could be heard 130 kilometers (80 miles) away in Surabaya, the country's second-largest city, and even further afield in Jogyakarta.
Ash covered the ground in both cities and was still falling, according to witnesses and accounts on social media. TV footage from towns closer to the peak showed farmyard animals covered in ash.
Transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said Jogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya airports were closed due to reduced visibility and the dangers posed to aircraft engines by ash.
There were no reports of injuries as a result of the eruption. The mountain had been rumbling for several weeks.
Officials late Thursday urged about 200,000 people living in 36 villages within 10 kilometers (6 miles) of the crater to evacuate. It was unclear how many people heeded that warning.
The 1,731-meter (5,680-feet) Kelud is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.