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Java Eruption Kills 4, Brings LIfe to Virtual Standstill February 21, 2014
Mount Kelud ash lightning.
Lightning permiated the soaring ash cloud from Java's Kelud volcano during an overnight eruption on Feb. 14.
A powerful blast from Indonesia’s Mount Kelud volcano killed four people and disrupted air transport across Java and the holiday resort of Bali.

The victims died after the roofs of their homes collapsed beneath the weight of accumulating ash.

The volcanic debris reached 8 inches deep in some areas.

The Feb. 14 eruption was so loud that it could be heard from 125 miles away and was said to be “like thousands of bombs exploding,” by one nearby villager who feared “doomsday was upon us.”

Kelud, located about 375 miles east of Jakarta, had been rumbling for several weeks prior to the violent 90-minute eruption.

“The smell of sulfur and ash hung so thickly in the air that breathing was painful,” said Kediri resident Insaf Wibowo.

Eyewitnesses said violent electrical storms that accompanied the rising ash plume added to the sense of doom.

Kelud’s last major eruption was in 1990, when it spewed lava and superheated clouds that killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds of others.

Approximately 5,160 people died during a 1919 eruption, mainly from hot mudflows down the volcano’s flanks.

Photo: Heppy Trisna Putra