The injured with clothes, blankets and even mattresses fused to their skin by the 1,400 degree Fahrenheit (750 degree Celsius) heat were carried away on stretchers following the first big explosion just before midnight.
All Friday, Merapi shot towering plumes of ash that dusted the windshields of cars 300 miles (480 kilometers) away. Bursts of hot clouds occasionally interrupted aid efforts, with rescuers screaming "Watch out! Hot cloud!"
The intensifying eruptions have baffled scientists who have monitored the mountain for years and left them uncertain what to expect. Dozens of explosions that followed Merapi's initial blast Oct. 26 had been predicted to ease pressure behind a magma dome.
The danger zone where residents have been ordered to flee has now been expanded to 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the crater.
None of this sounds good at all. I've wondered about another explosion of the type that happened with Krakatoa in 1883. The noise created by the explosion of that island was said to be the loudest noise ever heard on the Earth.
Edited by Analog Kid, 05 November 2010 - 02:46 PM.