Airports Closed, Thousands Forced to Flee as Indonesia Volcano Erupts

Indonesian workers check a Citilink airplane covered with ash from the Mount Kelud volcano, at Adi Sucipto airport in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 14 February 2014. Three international airports on Indonesia's main Java Island were closed on 14 February following the eruption of the Mount Kelud volcano, an official said. Thousands of people fled their homes after Mount Kelud erupted, sending hot ash and rocks over 3,000 metre into the air on 13 February night. BIMO SATRIO / EPA

More than 76,000 people fled their homes and flights were grounded across most of Indonesia's densely populated island of Java on Friday after a volcanic eruption sent a huge plume of ash and sand 10 miles into the air.

The ash cloud from Thursday night's eruption of Mount Kelud moved west over the island, forcing the closure of seven airports and stranding thousands of passengers, Reuters reported.

Planes were covered in ash at Adi Sucipto airport in Yogyakarta, above.

Mount Kelud erupting on Friday, as seen from Anyar village in Blitar, East Java. Trisnadi / AP
An Indonesian soldier carries a collapsed resident during the evacuation of Malang, East Java, soon after Mount Kelud erupted on Friday. AMAN ROCHMAN / AFP - Getty Images
Image: Borobudur temple is covered due to volcanic ash
Workers cover the famous Borobudur temple in Magelang to protect it from volcanic ash. ASSABILI / EPA