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'It was like from a war': Indonesia's death toll rises

Indonesia faces a humanitarian disaster as Mount Merapi erupts again, killing another 78 people.

INDONESIA’S WORST VOLCANIC eruption in a century has killed another 78 people, bringing the death toll to 122 and the country to the brink of a humanitarian disaster.

Searing gas and hot ash jetting out of the volcano have destroyed virtually everything in their path.

Last night’s explosion hit villagers as they slept – one of the areas worst affected was Bronggang, which had tragically been designated as a safe zone. Today, authorities pulled scores of bodies from ash 30cm deep.

The Guardian quotes 47-year-old Niti Raharjo, who said the force of the blast threw both himself and his 19-year-old son from a motorcyle as they tried to flee:

The heat surrounded us and there was white smoke everywhere. I saw people running, screaming in the dark, women so scared they fell unconscious.

There was an explosion that sounded like it was from a war … and it got worse, the ash and debris raining down.

Over 150 injured survivors with burns, respiratory problems and broken bones have gathered to be treated at the tiny Sardjito hospital: “We’re totally overwhelmed, a spokesperson said.

More than 100,000 people living along the volcano’s slopes have been evacuated in the past week.

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Indonesia is also trying to cope with the death’s of 431 people, killed in a tsunami that hit the Mentawai islands, off Sumatra, just last week.

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