Evacuations from Bali volcano rise to 57000

27 September, 2017, 00:12 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • A villager rides past by with Mount Agung seen in the background in Karangasem Bali Indonesia Sunday Sept. 24 2017. Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island have been evacuated to temporary shelters amid fear that Mount Agung will erupt

The official exclusion zone extends 12 kilometers from Mount Agung, which is based on last time the volcano erupted in 1963.

An increasing frequency of tremors from the volcano indicates magma is continuing to move toward the surface and an eruption is possible, said National Disaster Mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

The latest data shows that Mount Agung experienced 844 volcanic earthquakes on Monday, and between 300 and 400 earthquakes by midday on Tuesday.

In a televised news conference, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said "the highest priority is the safety of our people" and urged those around Mount Agung to follow the instructions of authorities.

Hoaxes have proliferated online, with videos of previous eruptions in Indonesia circulated as current events at Mount Agung.

The foreign ministry advised Malaysians in the vicinity of Mount Agung in Bali, to be cautious and obey the instructions of the Indonesian authorities.

The Mount Agung volcano on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, which has been rumbling for weeks, is "at a critical stage", a disaster management official said Tuesday.

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"There will definitely be an impact on (sales of) tour packages but we don't know the figures yet", said Agustinus Pake Seko of PT Bayu Buana travel agency. Since then, the volcano has remained pretty active, with its deep crater occasionally belching smoke and ash.

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

More than 35,000 people have been evacuated and a travel warning has been issued, with any eruption set to disrupt flights to and from the island.

The volcano's alert status was raised to its highest level on Friday.

The UK, Australia and the United States are among several countries that have issued travel advisories in recent days, warning that volcanic activity on Agung could interfere with travel plans.

"No eruption. That is my prayer", she said.

Many Indonesians live close to volcanoes because the lava flows can make the surrounding land and soil fertile for farming.

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