Indonesians prepare for eruption of Mount Agung volcano

Indonesians prepare for eruption of Mount Agung volcano
Indonesians prepare for eruption of Mount Agung volcano
Author

01 October, 2017

More than 120,000 people have fled their homes on the Indonesian island of Bali, fearful that a rumbling volcano could erupt at any time, disaster officials said.

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said around 135,000 people are now registered with evacuation centres.

"Mount Agung, an active volcano in Karangasem Regency in East Bali, has shown recent increased volcanic activity", authorities warned on the Smartraveller website.

It last erupted in 1963, killing about 1100 people.

SOME Virgin Australia flights bound for Bali are stopping in Darwin to take on extra fuel in case Mount Agung erupts and planes have to turn around.

People beyond the designated Bali evacuation zone are also retreating, including many tourists, according to CNN.

But multiple local sources have reported that others, particularly in secluded mountain communities, do not want to leave their ancestral homes or their cattle behind, with an unknown number refusing to evacuate.

Government officials estimate there are at least 30,000 cows within a 12-km danger zone, efforts to relocate them are ongoing as these animals are important to the residents.

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"It's been six days since we are here, we want to go home", said Wayan, 65, who like many Indonesians only goes by one name.

More than 800 earthquakes were recorded in the area Monday alone - with additional 400 by Tuesday midday - and a smoke column was seen emanating from the crater.

"If my house is destroyed I don't know how to restart my life".

Mount Agung is among the 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a vast archipelagic nation with 17,500 islands.

How big is Mount Agung?

Hundreds of domestic and global flights were disrupted in 2016 when a volcano erupted on Bali's neighbouring Lombok island, sending columns of ash and debris into the air.

Both countries are evacuating amid fears of imminent volcanic eruptions and they urge several countries, including Australia and Singapore, to issue travel advisories.


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