A Volcano In Bali Could Erupt For The First Time Since 1963

Lucy Bush
September 27, 2017

"Our preparedness will be the key for the mitigations of volcanic risks", Devy Kamil, a senior official at Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, told AFP.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, 57,428 people, mostly Balinese, have been evacuated from the areas around Agung, seeking shelter in hundreds of village halls and sports centres, and in the homes of relatives in more than nine districts.

At 11am BST EMSC, an independent scientific organisation that provides real-time natural disaster warnings, tweeted: "Strongest quake so far while the volcano may be about to erupt".

Nearly 75,000 have been forced to flee the area surrounding Mount Agung as it nears a colossal eruption.

"We need to pay attention because these kinds of earthquakes indicate the movement of magma and increase the probability of an eruption".

Mount Agung is one of many active volcanoes in the ring of fire, a string of volcanoes and seismic activity that runs through the Indonesian archipelago and the edges of the Pacific Ocean. We don't know what to expect such as earth tremors and earthquakes which we have been told to expect. The increasing frequency and strength of those earthquakes lead to authorities raising the alert status to the highest level.

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An exclusion zone around the crater remains at 9 km and an additional 12 km to the north-northeast and 12 km to the south-southwest of the crater.

"In the event of an eruption and volcanic ash clouds, which could cause flight disruptions, you should confirm your travel arrangements directly with your airline or travel agent before travelling to the airport".

Some villagers are reluctant to leave their crops and livestock.

Macquarie University volcanologist Heather Handley said the eruptions in 1843 and 1963 had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of about 5 on a scale where 8 would be the strength of an ancient super volcano eruption such as Yellowstone in the USA or Toba in Indonesia.

The volcano last erupted in 1963 when it killed 1,100 people.

Seismic activity from the volcano has escalated dramatically in the past two weeks but officials say there is no reason for tourists to panic and the island famous for its surfing, beaches and elegant Hindu culture is still safe to visit.

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"But for Agung we have no instrumental documentation", said Syahbana.

Almost five million people visited Bali previous year - a lot of them from mainly from Australia, China and Japan. Aside from the evacuations, however, it's business as usual on Bali.

Another tourist previously wrote on social media: "There would be urgent volcano warnings while I'm in Bali for the first time, heart goes out to evacuees and fingers crossed I make it out".

Singapore Airlines and its short-haul arm SilkAir said customers travelling to Bali until October 2 could rebook or request a refund, while AirAsia said flights were operating normally.

"Holidaymakers are advised to follow the advice of local authorities, to avoid the area around the volcano and to keep in contact with their airline or holiday company".

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Other reports by Info About Network

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