JAKARTA, Indonesia

At least 1,294 people have fled from disaster-prone areas amid the rising volcanic activity of Merapi Volcano in Indonesia’s Central Java province, said the country’s disaster agency on Wednesday.

The Regional Disaster Management Agency said the evacuees came from several villages within Merapi’s disaster-prone area.

“In the Central Java province, there are 1,091 evacuees from Magelang, Boyolali, and Klaten regencies,” the head of the province’s Regional Disaster Management Agency Safrudin –who goes by just one name– told Anadolu Agency.

Meanwhile, in the Yogyakarta province [of the southern Java Island], it is reported that the number of displaced rose to 203.

Safrudin said the shelters had been arranged to comply with COVID-19 health protocols to prevent virus transmission among the evacuees, particularly those who are vulnerable.

Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Center said debris avalanche was seen four times on Wednesday.

Authorities have issued a Level 3 warning to monitor the volcano’s status since last Thursday.

Merapi is one of 127 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

The last major eruption occurred in 2010, killing more than 300 people and displacing hundreds of thousands of others.

* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian-language service in Jakarta

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