Toll from Indonesian volcano rises to 240 |

Toll from Indonesian volcano rises to 240

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia (AP) – Rescuers pulled more bodies from a village smothered a week ago by searing gases from Indonesia’s most volatile volcano as more people succumbed to their burns, raising the death toll Saturday to 240.

Mount Merapi shot out more hot clouds Friday evening, though no new deaths were reported from those flows, which slid as far as six miles (10 kilometers) from the crater. The mountain has continuously spewed ash – and occasionally torrents of rock, gas and lava in dramatic eruptions – since it roared to life Oct. 26 after years of dormancy.

The volcano is the most active in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 235 million people that is prone to seismic activity because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the Pacific Ocean.

The National Disaster Management Agency reported Saturday on its website that the toll from more than two weeks of eruptions at Merapi had risen from 206 to 240.

That figure continues to rise as people with severe burns die from their wounds and officials count those who have died from respiratory problems, heart attacks and other illnesses related to the blasts.