Thousands evacuated as smoke rises from rumbling Bali volcano

Mount Agung Indonesia

Bali on alert amid fears Mount Agung volcano will erupt

Almost 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on the Indonesian island of Bali due to fears of Mount Agung potentially erupting.

"Volcanic activity remains high and there are indications of magma rising to the surface and causing tremors", said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the National Disaster Management Agency, as cited by Reuters. (The size of the exclusion zone has been doubled this week.) As of Friday, area residents and visitors had dispersed into 50 shelters in Karangasem, Klungkung and Buleleng.

Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned residents and tourists they must stay at least six kilometres from the crater and 7.5 kilometres away to the north, south-east and south-west.

A man observes the Mount Agung with binoculars at a viewing point in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. It's a popular spot for hikers and travelers, and houses one of Bali's most prominent temples, Pura Besakih.

Bali's worldwide airport in Denpasar remains open and tourist activities elsewhere on the island have carried on as normal.

It said its monitoring data and analysis indicated an increased probability of eruption but it could not estimate exactly when it would take place.

A series of eruptions at Mount Agung between 1963 and 1964 killed more than 1,000 people and injured hundreds. The Tribun Bali reported that snakes and monkeys had been seen descending from the volcano for days, something that also happened during the last eruption in 1965.

Indonesia, an archipelagic nation with over 17,500 islands, has a total of 129 active volcanoes.

Latest News