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New Mount Merapi eruption rattles evacuees in Indonesia

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia - Deafening explosions of hot gas rattled evacuees miles from a volcano Tuesday, the latest eruption in a deadly week. Increased rumblings were reported at 21 other active volcanoes in Indonesia, raising questions about what's causing the uptick along some of the world's most volatile fault lines.

No casualties were reported in Mount Merapi's new blast, which came as Indonesia struggles to respond to an earthquake-generated tsunami that devastated a remote chain of islands. The two disasters unfolding on opposite ends of the country have killed nearly 500 people and strained the government's emergency response network. In both events, the military has been called in to help.

Merapi has killed 38 people since it started erupting a week ago. Monitoring officials have raised alert levels at some of the 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, with two under watch for possible eruption within two weeks and 19 showing increased activity, an official said. - AP

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