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April 16, 2014

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Volcanic eruption in Indonesia closes 3 airports

Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 4:19 p.m.

SURABYA, Indonesia (AP) — Volcanic ash from a major eruption has led to the closure of three international airports and darkened skies on Indonesia's densely populated Java Island and darkened skies.

First light Friday brought clear the extent of the overnight explosive eruption at Mount Kelud.

Ash covered the ground up to 130 kilometers (80 miles) away in Surabaya, the country's second-largest city, witnesses there said.

The country's transport ministry said Jogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya aiports were closed due to reduced visibility and the dangers posed to aircraft engines by ash.

There were no reports of injuries.

Officials late Thursday urged about 200,000 people living in 36 villages within 10 kilometers (6 miles) of the crater to evacuate.

The 1,731-meter (5,680-feet) Kelud is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.