At least 49 people have been safely evacuated after the eruption, while attempts are being made to move several others to safety, said Abdul Malik, the head of the National Search and Rescue Agency in the provincial capital, Padang.
“Eleven people were found dead,” he said.
The National Disaster Management Agency said the 2,981-metre volcano erupted for almost five minutes on Sunday after months of increased activity.
Authorities have imposed a three-kilometre exclusion zone from the crater following the eruption.
Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes on Sumatra, an island in the western part of the Indonesian archipelago.
Before Sunday, its last eruption was in 2018, when it spewed ash and lava up to five kilometres into the atmosphere.
The volcano is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of seismic activity that runs around the Pacific Ocean. Indonesia has more than 120 active volcanoes, making it prone to volcanic disasters – BERNAMA