Indonesian volcano spews massive ash and gas cloud

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — Towering clouds of hot ash gushed from the mouth of Indonesia's deadly volcano Thursday, hours after its most explosive eruption in a deadly week sent screaming women and children fleeing mountainside villages and emergency shelters.
As rocks and debris rained from the sky late Wednesday, soldiers forced villagers into trucks and carried them down the rumbling mountain. Several abandoned homes were set on fire and dozens of carcasses of incinerated cattle littered the scorched flanks.
No new casualties were reported after that fiery blast or a pre-dawn eruption Thursday, which spewed searing clouds of gas and ash nearly four miles (6 kilometers) into the air.
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