Mount Merapi erupting in May 2006
© Vincent Thian/AP
Mount Merapi erupting in May 2006.
Indonesia's volatile Mount Merapi volcano has unleashed a river of lava that flowed 1400 metres down its slopes.

Kasbani, head of the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre, says Merapi on the island of Java has entered an "effusive eruption phase."

Kasbani, who goes by a single name, said the volcanic material that spewed out late on Tuesday was the volcano's longest lava flow since it began erupting again in August.

He says the alert level of the volcano has not been raised.

The 2968m mountain, located near the ancient Indonesian city of Yogyakarta, is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes.

Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 347 people.

Meanwhile, there has been a 5.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Taiwan.

Dozens of buildings in the capital, Taipei, shook for several seconds but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The quake struck a depth of 19.8km about 92km east of Hualien county, which is on the east coast of the island, the US Geological Survey said.