Mount Agung eruption potentially imminent as 50000 flee Bali

Tuesday, 26 Sep, 2017

Thousands of evacuees are living in temporary shelters, sports centres, village halls and with relatives or friends.

Despite the risk, some villagers have been returning to the danger zone - which extends up to 7.5 miles from the crater - in order to feed their livestock.

Officials however clarified that the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali's capital Denpasar, through which millions of foreign tourists pass every year, has not been affected and continues to operate normally. A significant eruption would force the closure of Bali's worldwide airport, stranding thousands. "The second is that they are anxious about their livestock ".

The paper says some people have attempted to exploit the situation by offering to buy the cattle at discounted prices.

The island of Krakatoa is practically wiped off the map in 1883 by a volcanic explosion so powerful that it is heard some 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) away.

Mount Agung, with its peak at 3,142 meters above sea-level, is located on Bali, Indonesia's most famous tourist destination.

"There are some who are staying behind because the volcano hasn't erupted yet or because of religious beliefs", said Nugroho.

Early on Saturday, officials said that increased seismic activity was ongoing, hours after the alert level was raised.

Agung is in the north of the island about 70 kilometres from the tourist hot spot of Kuta.

He added: "Our ability to predict eruptions has improved dramatically since this last event, so we can hope such a death toll will not occur again".

Its last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people.

All of the districts surrounding Mount Agung "must be prepared for the worst", Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, a senior Cabinet minister, told the Associated Press on Sunday.

Predictions about the potential eruption are based on the one in 1963, which saw the volcano expel large amounts of debris and extensive lava flows.

A year ago more than two dozen domestic and global flights to Bali's neighbouring resort island Lombok were cancelled due to a drifting ash cloud from erupting Mount Rinjani. The advising against any visits to the volcano, warning that an eruption could disrupt flights.

In February 2014, 75,000 people were evacuated due to a forecast eruption of the same volcano.