MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia – Searing gas and molten lava poured from Indonesia’s deadly volcano Wednesday in an explosion three times as powerful as last week’s devastating blast, chasing people from villages and emergency shelters along its slopes.

After more than a week of continual eruptions, and warnings that pressure inside Mount Merapi may still be building, the province warned it was running out of money to help more than 70,000 people forced from their homes.

Soldiers loaded women and children into trucks while rocks and debris rained from the sky. Several abandoned homes were set ablaze, and the carcasses of incinerated cattle littered the mountain’s scorched slopes.

No new casualties were reported after Wednesday’s fiery explosion, which dusted cars, trees and roads in towns up to 80 miles away in gray ash.

Surono, a state volcanologist, said the blast had triple the force of the first eruption on Oct. 26. “We have no idea what’s happening,” he said as he watched the bobbing needle of a seismograph machine. “It looks like we may be entering an even worse stage now.”

Mount Merapi, which means “Fire Mountain,” has erupted many times in the last century, often with deadly results. Still, tens of thousands call its fertile slopes home. Most now are packed in crowded government camps well away from the base.

Djarot Nugroho, head of Central Java’s disaster management agency, said money to buy instant noodles, clean water, medicine and other supplies would run out within five days unless the Indonesian government declares a national disaster, bringing in much-needed federal funds.

The danger zone was widened from six miles to nine miles from the peak because of the heightened threat. Soldiers and police blocked all roads leading up the 9,700-foot mountain, chasing away curious onlookers and the media.