Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Bali volcano has 'quite big' chance of eruption; 120000 flee

Bali volcano Mount Agung GETTYBali volcano Officials assure tourists that they are safe
Lucas Bell | 29 September, 2017, 00:40

Aids for the evacuees taking shelters at more than 480 evacuation centers keep flowing in and they are sufficient for one month, he added.

Mount Agung, a volcano on Indonesia's vacation island Bali, is expected to erupt, sparking an exodus of almost 100,000 people from its vicinity.

Of course, Indonesia, with more than 100 active volcanoes, is no stranger to preparing for the increased seismic activity.

Officials also noted there are around 30,000 cattle within the danger zone around the volcano, and efforts are being made to move the livestock as it is an important source of income for many residents.

Those fleeing their homes included villagers who lived outside an exclusion zone of 12 kilometres from the volcano, said Gede Sumartana, an official at an emergency post dealing with the dislaced in Karangasem district.

"I was very anxious about the situation" said Nyoman Suarta, who was leaving a village a few kilometers outside the official no-go radius. "So I chose to get out to save myself with my stuff and my pet", he said, carrying a bird in a cage.

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More than 122,000 people on the Indonesian resort island of Bali have sought refuge in temporary shelters amid fears that the Mount Agung volcano will erupt soon.

Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nguroho said the chances of an eruption are "quite big", although experts can't predict when with certainty.

"I was very anxious about the situation" said Nyoman Suarta, who lives in a village just outside the danger zone. The increase in tremors suggests an eruption is "imminent", she said. Spectacular snaps capture lava spewing down the side of Kilauea, ash spitting from craters and plumes of smoke rising thousands of feet in the air.

Officials hope improved technology and early warnings this time mean a disaster on the scale of 1963 will be averted.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people. Sirens will be sounded if an eruption occurs.

The mountain, about 70 kilometres to the north-east of the tourist hotspot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

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