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