By Presi mandari (AFP) – Oct 31, 2010
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia's Mount Merapi spewed heat clouds and ash on Monday as the country struggled to care for some 65,000 people displaced by the volcano and a deadly tsunami.
Searing grey fumes and ash shot high into the sky and rolled down the slopes of the 2,914-metre (9,616-foot) mountain, Indonesia's most active volcano, spreading fear and panic among nearby residents in central Java.
Merapi, a sacred landmark in Javanese culture whose name translates as "Mountain of Fire", has convulsed regularly since last Tuesday's major eruptions, driving up to 50,000 people into temporary shelters.
"There'll be more eruptions as not all the energy has been released. Eruptions will continue to take place in the weeks ahead," volcanologist Surono said.
About 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) to the west, officials said aid was slowly reaching survivors of a tsunami which crushed coastal villages on the Mentawai island chain off the coast of Sumatra last Monday.
The latest official death toll stood at 431 with another 88 missing, feared dead, and almost 15,000 made homeless.
Emergency response officials denied reports that aid is rotting in ports as desperate survivors scavenge for wild roots a week after the disaster, which struck in an area that scientists have long warned is vulnerable to tsunamis.
"The delays were due to unfriendly weather. But now we can reach the affected areas and aid is being sent, although it's limited," official Joskamatir said.
He dismissed reports of looting, poor coordination of the relief effort and food going bad on the docks as "untrue".
"The relief operations are going very smoothly," he added.
The three-metre (10-foot) wave was triggered by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake and flattened around 10 villages, destroying schools, mosques and traditional homes along remote and undeveloped beaches popular with foreign surfers.
Survivors have complained that aid has been too slow to reach them, and relief workers have said coordination has been poor.
On Saturday, five days after the disaster, one villager told AFP he had been surviving on wild taro roots because aid still had not reached his devastated village, where he said about half the population had been killed.
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