Indonesia: Tsunami kills 1 as pressure builds at volcano

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 26, 2010 12:28

 
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MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — Pressure building beneath a lava dome in the mouth of Indonesia's most volatile volcano could trigger one of its deadliest blasts in years, scientists warned Tuesday, as residents living along the slopes were moved to temporary camps.

Meanwhile, a large earthquake in the country's west generated a small tsunami, officials and witnesses said, killing at least one person but causing little serious damage.

Mount Merapi has seen increased volcanic activity in recent days and officials have raised the alert level for the 9,737-foot (2,968-metre) high mountain to its highest level, said government vulcanologist Surono, who uses only one name.

The greatest concern, Surono told reporters, was pressure building behind a massive lava dome that has formed near the tip of the crater.

"The energy is building up. ... We hope it will release slowly," he said. "Otherwise we're looking at a potentially huge eruption, bigger than anything we've seen in years."

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