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MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia (AP) -- Clouds of deadly ash, rock fragments and hot gas surged down Mount Merapi's slopes Monday as activity intensified to the highest level since the volcano rumbled back to life weeks ago.
One eruption sent an avalanche of debris and ash rolling more than two miles down the mountain's western flank, said Ratdomopurbo, the region's chief vulcanologist. It was followed by several other huge explosions.
Several huge explosions have taken place on the crater and scientists are warning that the mountain's growing lava dome could soon collapse with potentially catastrophic consequences.
According to Michael Ramsey (Geology Professor at the Univ. of Pittsburg), there can be weeks or months of pyroclastic flows once the lava dome collapses.
On 23 May, AVO reported that an astronaut aboard the International Space Station observed an ash plume from Cleveland at 1500. A plume was visible on satellite imagery at 1507 that drifted SW and reached a height of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. At 1700, an image showed the detached ash plume 130 km SW of Cleveland.