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Mount Merapi Spews Debris High Over Java July 26, 2013
Mount Merapi
Villagers look on as Mount Merapi spews ash over Indonesia's island of Java on Monday morning.
Indonesian officials urged residents around Java’s Mount Merapi to remain calm after the volcano belched steam and debris with a huge explosion before dawn on July 22.

But hundreds fled their villages along the slopes of Indonesia’s most volatile volcano out of fears of an even more violent blast.

Geologists said the blast was not an eruption, but rather due to rainwater building up pressure when it came in contact with ground made hot by subterranean lava.

The ash and debris made rain thick and muddy in several villages, falling three hours after the blast.

An eruption of Merapi in 2010 released poisonous gases and blanketed the region in ash, killing more than 300 people and temporarily displacing hundreds of thousands.

Photo: Mohammad Ali