MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia — A deadly volcano in Indonesia spewed another searing cloud of ash down its slopes Sunday, prompting panic and chaos among thousands of villagers who had taken advantage of a lull in activity to rush home and check on their livestock.

Ash from the latest blast tumbled down the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Merapi, said Subandrio, an official with the volcano's monitoring agency.

Panic quickly ensued among the thousands of villagers who had left government camps and rushed back to their homes. It was unclear if any were injured Sunday.

Mount Merapi began erupting on Tuesday, killing a total of 38 people and forcing more than 50,000 to flee. The crisis comes as the country also struggles to respond to a tsunami created by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake which hit remote islands and killed nearly 450.

Indonesia lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a series of fault lines in the Earth's surface that is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. (AP)