Bali volcano spewing fumes with more vigour

Bali volcano spewing fumes with more vigour

Both Mount Agung and Manaro volcano are now at level 4 on the volcano alert scale, the highest level on the Indonesian volcano alert scale and the second highest level on Vanuatu's scale.

The BNPB had said on September 21 that the current tremors were similar to those that occurred before Mount Agung erupted in 1963, which lasted nearly a year and killed over 1,100 people.

Officials at an evacuation centre in Klungkung district said 122,490 people had left their homes, taking refuge at almost 500 makeshift shelters or moving in with relatives.

"Our staff are combing the area and urging everyone to evacuate", said Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said at a news conference.

Despite the significant increase in estimated evacuees, the government said it was prepared.

Five mobile sirens have been installed in the danger zone to warn residents in the event of an eruption. Tourists visiting Bali should take an increased likelihood into account that flights could be diverted or canceled in case of significant ash emission (which is likely if Agung erupts).

Pic Twitter
Pic Twitter

"The danger line on the map is not clearly visible on the field, hence many people are afraid", he said.

On September 26, Indonesia's volcanology centre said it could be just a "matter of hours" before Mount Agung in Bali erupts, as the area is experiencing unprecedented levels of seismic activity. Indonesian authorities declared a state of emergency.

Indonesia is home to more than 400 volcanoes, of which at least 127 are active and 65 are classified as unsafe.

Ambae island's 11,000 residents have been evacuated by boat and helicopter. Scientists have said the activity suggests magma is moving below the surface and may erupt, but they can't say when or how severe the eruption might be.

In Indonesia, officials have announced the highest possible alert level and warned people to stay at least nine kilometres away from the crater.

"The exact date and time of the eruption can not be predicted, PVMBG will issue a warning when conditions change and if it observes a higher tendency to erupt", he said.

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