Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupts again as victims buried
- 28 October 2010
- From the section Asia-Pacific
Indonesia's Mount Merapi has erupted for a second time, hours after some of its victims were buried in a mass grave.
The volcano in central Java shot huge clouds of gas and ash into the air on Thursday afternoon, two days after its initial eruption.
At least 32 people were killed in the first eruption.
Tens of thousands of people remain in temporary shelters, and officials have urged them not to go home.
It was not immediately clear whether the latest eruption had caused any more casualties.
Officials issued the highest alert for the volcano on Monday and told residents to evacuate, but some stayed behind to look after crops and livestock.
A government vulcanologist said that the high alert level would remain.
"The threat is still there which is why the status [will] still stay at red," said Surono, who goes by one name.
The renewed activity came shortly after at least 20 of those who died were buried in a mass grave in Sidorejo village, south of the volcano.
Coffins were placed in a large grave and covered with bamboo poles.
Relatives scattered flower petals on top before the graves were covered with earth.
Others were buried in private ceremonies, including Maridjan, the elderly man seen by local people as the spiritual guardian of the mountain.
Officials said most of the victims had died from burns or suffocation.
Teams are continuing to search the ash-covered slopes of the volcano for more victims.
Some of those who did move to government-run camps are reported to be suffering from respiratory and other ailments caused by the volcanic ash.
"The dust gave them throat burn, influenza, respiratory problems and conjunctivitis. That is what we have found so far, most of them children," one paramedic told Reuters news agency.