Indonesia volcano spews searing ash after lull

Villagers who returned home are in panic; unclear whether there are injuries, casualties

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — A deadly volcano in Indonesia spewed another searing cloud of ash down its slopes Sunday, prompting panic and chaos among thousands of villagers who had taken advantage of a lull in activity to rush home and check on their livestock.

The new blast came as rescuers hundreds of miles away finally were able to resume food deliveries and evacuate injured victims of a tsunami triggered by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake near a chain of remote islands off western Sumatra.

Storms crippling tsunami aid to Indonesia islands

A group of private aid workers battled fierce swells and driving rain that kept most craft on shore Friday, managing to deliver food and other supplies to desperate survivors on the islands hardest hit by a tsunami that killed more than 400 people.

Government agencies pulled back boats and helicopters that had been ferrying aid to the most distant corners of the Mentawai islands and instead resorted to air-dropping boxes of aid from planes.

‘No alert’ in Indonesian tsunami

A crucial link in Indonesia’s tsunami warning system was not working during Monday’s tsunami because it had been vandalised, says an Indonesian official.

Hundreds of people were killed and many are missing as a result of the tsunami, which was generated by a magnitude 7.7 earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra.

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