Mount Slamet volcano on the crowded Indonesian island of Java has broken 30 years of relative silence in a spectacular fireworks display, officials said Wednesday.

Thousands of townsfolk from Purwokerto, some 200 miles east of Jakarta and the nearest city to Slamet, stood spellbound in front of their houses as the second highest volcano on Java shot plumes of fire and molten ash 300 feet into the sky."It's like a giant sparkler," said police sergeant Nasrul, awed by the show of volcanic force that began Tuesday from the 11,213-foot peak. Nasrul said the last eruptions were in the 1950s.

The Directorate of Vulcanology, which monitors Indonesia's 128 volcanoes, 65 of them active, would not comment Wednesday on the level of danger.