Borobudur Temple Forced to Close While Workers Remove Merapi Ash

Employees of Borobudur temple on Sunday were working to keep the historic site from being damaged by the thick black ash that has fallen from nearby Mount Merapi's eruption.

Karyono, a parking lot employee who has been working there since 1986, was taking the ash off the driveway and the parking lot.

Using a small iron shovel, he and his 10 coworkers were squatting and painstakingly taking the ash away in buckets.

"The management told us to clear the driveway and the roads," he said.

Karyono said that he has been cleaning since Saturday and piling up the ashes to be dumped elsewhere.

While the cleanup operation continues, the famous temple is closed to visitors from Nov. 5 to 9.

Mount Merapi unleashed nearly 50 million cubic meters of gas, rocks and ash on Friday, its most powerful eruption in a century.

Up to 138 people have now died on Merapi's slopes in the past ten days of eruptions and gas cloud ash emissions.

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