Indonesia’s most active volcano erupted on 26 January, sending a river of lava and searing gas clouds flowing 1,600m down its slopes.
It was Mount Merapi’s biggest eruption since authorities raised its danger level in November.
The 2,968m volcano is on the densely populated island of Java and near the ancient city of Yogyakarta.
Police and rescue services evacuated people in some villages to temporary shelters in the Sleman regency near the city.
Local tour guide Wandha told the ABC that people in the area are ‘traumatized’.
Authorities in November had evacuated nearly 2,000 people living on the mountain in Magelang and Sleman districts, but most have since returned.
‘Residents [around the volcano] mostly rely on making a living from nature, and when the main source of income was forcibly stopped, it cost us significantly,’ he said.
‘It’s difficult to find fodder, and our needs continue as usual without having any income.’
He said many now relied on selling their farm animals or doing odd-jobs.
The volcanic activity of Merapi was recorded as ‘very high’ by Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mount Merapi is the most active volcano among the dozens across Indonesia’s ring of fire.
It has spewed clouds of ash and spurts of lava several times since November, triggering hundreds of earthquakes and dozens of landslides in the area.
For more information please visit www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-28/indonesian-merapi-volcano-eruption/13097834?section=world