Indonesia warned Monday that its most volatile volcano could erupt at any time and started evacuating some of the thousands of villagers living on the mountain's slope.
Mount Merapi has seen increased volcanic activity over the past week and officials have raised the alert level for the 9,737-foot (2,968-meter) -high mountain to the most urgent level, said government volcanologist Surono, who uses only one name, according to The Associated Press.
Officials have recorded around 500 volcanic earthquakes near the volcano located in central Java.
"The magma has been pushed upwards due to the escalating seismic energy and it's about a kilometre below the crater," explained a government volcanologist.
The warning and evacuation zone covers 10 km around the volcano.
The Foreign Office updated their advice for Indonesia: "The mountain is now closed to climbers. The authorities are stepping up emergency preparations in case of a major eruption," Wanderlust says.