|Kinahrejo village covered in ash following the eruption|
of Mount Merapi, Indonesia
Evacuations continue as many houses have been destroyed by volcanic debris, and the ruins covered in a thick coating of ash. Men have tended to stay behind in the many villages flanking the volcano to maintain livestock and protect possessions while sending women, elderly, and children to shelters further away from the volcano. The villagers have been told to not return during a current lull in volcanic activity, however many have ignored these warning and returned to their homes for fear of loosing their crops and animals.
Most of those killed by the eruption burned to death and were in a village near the volcano's crater. The village was home to an elderly spiritual guardian, an 83-year-old man who had been entrusted to watch over the volcano's spirits, and thought to possess magical powers. Many of the victims were found in or around his home. Reports from the scene described victims being removed from the village in body bags.
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