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Indonesia Suffers Two Natural Disasters in as Many Days

Nature Vents its Wrath via Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanic Eruptions Leaving Hundreds Dead.

(10/30/2010) Mother Nature treated Indonesia cruelly when on Monday, October 25, 2010 a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck just 21 kilometers off Mentawai Island sending a massive tidal wave washing over the island and penetrating inland as far as 2 kilometers in some areas. Five days after the incident the death toll had surpassed 500 with hundreds more gravely injured or missing and feared dead.

A "one-two punch" from nature arrived less than 24 hours later, on Tuesday, when the Mt. Merapi volcano near Yogyakarta erupted violently. In anticipation of the eruption, thousands had been evacuated, but scores of casualties were still reported among villagers who refused to vacated their lands and abandon their animals. In one compound 7 kilometers from the volcanoes peak, Mbah Marijan, the official mystical guardian of the volcano, his family and a small group of followers were killed when they suffered the fatal effects of searing heat, poisonous gas and a cataclysmic explosion. Scores more of people suffered burns among those caught within a 7 kilometer radius of the volcano when it exploded.

Meanwhile, despite the ferocity of the explosion on Merapi, the nearby Royal capital of Yogyakarta was largely unscathed by the explosion. The Borobudur monument was dusted with volcanic dust but was otherwise unscathed.

Meteorologists say the volcanic clouds of dust produced by Merapi was suspended in a pattern to the southeast of Java, well clear of most major air routes to Bali and the rest of Indonesia.

Both the volcano and the earthquake are far removed from Bali.