Indonesia's Most Active Volcano Erupts

Indonesia's Most Active Volcano Erupts
Mount Merapi spewed ash about 20,000 feet into the air near Solo and Yogyakarta.

Mount Merapi erupted near Solo and Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday. Lightning ash clouds spewed nearly 20,000 feet into the air and covered the surrounding area.

Indonesia's geological agency says the eruption of the country's most active volcano lasted about 7 and a half minutes.

Authorities told surrounding communities to remain calm and stay about 2 miles away from Merapi in order to avoid lava and potentially dangerous pyroclastic flows. 

The agency also said there have been a series of eruptions since September which, along with seismic activity, indicate magma beneath Merapi is moving toward the surface. The most recent eruption was last month, but it had a smaller column height and only lasted about 2 minutes.

After Mount Merapi's last major eruption in 2010, more than 300 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others had to evacuate.