4 Dec 2010

Volcano alert level downgraded

10:00 am on 4 December 2010

Indonesia has downgraded the volcano alert level for Mount Merapi, more than a month after it began erupting, killing 353 people.

Officials said most of the 250,000 people who had been living in evacuation shelters can return home.

However, an area on the volcano's southern slope remained off limits.

Merapi, on the island of Java, began erupting on 26 October.

The BBC reports most of the people who died were caught in the biggest eruption on 5 November.

A wide area around the volcano was covered in a thick layer of ash and many homes were destroyed.