Bali volcano could erupt any moment

Pauline Gross
September 26, 2017

Some 35,000 people were evacuated from their homes near an active volcano in Bali, Indonesia, as authorities warned that it could erupt soon, authorities announced on Monday.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho advised people to stay calm and not to believe rumours.

According to the authorities, they have already imposed a 12km (7.5 miles) exclusion zone around the mountain and issued their highest level alert on Friday.

In 1963 the last eruption had done a 1,000 dead.

The latest report from Indonesia's volcano observatory for aviation said the likelihood of an eruption appears to be increasing.

However, thousands of evacuated residents are now waiting out a potential eruption in schools and town halls, with the number of evacuees unpredictable to authorities.

Should Mount Agung eventually erupt, this information will become critical to continuing air operations in Bali and the Island's tourism industry.

Over the next dew days, evacuees were packed into temporary shelters or moved in with their relatives.

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Officials began noticing heightened volcanic activity throughout August and have steadily stepped up the evacuations in the rural villages surrounding the mountain.

"I am actually very anxious to leave, I left my cows and pigs at home because we were ordered to vacate our village immediately", villager Nyoman Asih who evacuated with her entire family told AFP.

After the eruption in 1963, lava travelled 4.7 miles and ash reached the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, 620 miles away.

Flights at Bali's global airport are still operating as normal and there was little disruption to tourism operators across the rest of the island, authorities said.

Experts say it's a sign magma is rising to the surface of the volcano.

Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport has been operating normally since the alert status for Mount Agung was raised to the highest level on Friday but a significant eruption would force its closure and strand thousands.

The mountain, 72 kilometres to the northeast of the tourist hot spot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

A child eats noodles at a temporary evacuation center for people living near Mt Agung. It attracts hikers and tourists looking to visit one of Bali's most prominent temples, Pura Besakih.

Other reports by GizPress

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