57,000+ flee Bali vol­cano amid ris­ing magma and tremors

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Karangasem: More than 57,000 peo­ple have fled a vol­cano on the tourist is­land of Bali as ris­ing magma and in­creased tremors fuel fears of an im­mi­nent erup­tion, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

Mount Agung, about 75km from the In­done­sian tourist hub of Kuta, has been rum­bling since Au­gust, threat­en­ing to erupt for the first time since 1963.

“The chance that an erup­tion will hap­pen is quite big. But it can­not be pre­dicted when it will hap­pen,” spokesman for the disas­ter mit­i­ga­tion agency Su­topo Purwo Nu­groho said.

An in­creased fre­quency of tremors from the vol­cano shows the magma con­tin­ues to move to­wards the sur­face, the spokesman said. The In­done­sian Cen­ter for Vol­canol­ogy and Ge­o­log­i­cal Haz­ard Mit­i­ga­tion said there has been an in­crease in vol­canic tremors, with a total of 564 recorded on Mon­day.

Of­fi­cials an­nounced the high­est pos­si­ble alert level on Fri­day due to the in­creas­ing vol­canic ac­tiv­ity, and told peo­ple to stay at least nine kilo­me­tres away from the crater.

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