After weeks of rumbling, Mount Kelud erupted on the Indonesian island of Java late last night, sending plumes of smoke and hot ash tens of thousands of feet into the air (55,700 feet, to be precise). As of this morning, the volcano had killed three people and dislocated as many as 100,000, according to CNN. The current evacuation zone covers a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius including 36 villages.
Seven airports in the eastern and central parts of the island have been shut down because the volcanic ash swirling in the air poses a danger to airplane engines. Flights to and from nearby Australia have been forced to reschedule due to the smoke. The cloud is traveling west, and appears poised to blanket other parts of Java, including Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. Reuters has a useful graphic that shows the reach of the ash cloud:
The eruption is the second this month in the country, which sits on a series of geological fault lines. The eruption of Mount Sinabung, which is located on the island of Sumatra, forced the evacuation of at least 20,000 people.
Java is home to some 140 million people. Many of its cities and towns—especially those in the central part of the island, nearest to Mount Kelud—are covered in thick, grey, ash, as these pictures show. The ash and dust could cause respiratory respiratory and lung diseases, the Jakarta Globe reports.