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Top Indonesian holiday spot Bali on alert as volcano threatens eruption

A huge active volcano on the popular Indonesian tourist spot Bali is on high alert for an eruption after seismic shockwaves were detected in the area and plumes of smoke were seen rising from the summit. Thousands of villagers living close to Mount Agung in the east of the island have been asked to evacuate to shelters.

Top Indonesian holiday spot Bali on alert as volcano threatens eruption

The Indonesian island of Bali is on high alert after volcanic Mount Agung threatened to erupt for the first time in more than half a century. Villages near the large active volcano in the east of the island have been asked to evacuate after seismic tremors shook the island and a plume of smoke rose above Mount Agung’s peak.

According to international news agency Reuters, the 3,000-metre-high volcano has been placed on alert level 3, one level below the highest, and authorities warned tourists and residents to avoid camping or hiking within a 4-mile radius of the crater.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from the National Disaster Management Agency, said:

“Volcanic activity remains high and there are indications of magma rising to the surface and causing tremors. There should be zero public activity within the specified radius in case there is an eruption.”

Dr Devy Kamil Syahbana, the region's leading volcanologist and head of volcano mitigation for eastern Indonesia, has said the probability of an eruption is increasing by the day and tourists should be ready to change their plans if the volcano erupts.

There were 676 tremors recorded coming from inside the volcano on Thursday 21 September and another 178 on Friday morning alone.


“Our data shows the number of earthquakes is still increasing, which shows that the magma has very huge energy. It means we have to be alert to the situation but we don't need to panic.

“We're not even sure this volcano will erupt. It's possible for the magma to be exhausted and for this crisis to end. That's the possibility we're hoping for.”

The island’s international airport remains open and there is currently little disruption to tourist operations across the island. But ash clouds can affect flight schedules and the operation of regional airports, so holidaymakers should check with their airline or travel company before travelling for the latest information.

Bali sits within the Pacific Ring of Fire – a volatile volcanic area caused by the clashing of several tectonic plates beneath the earth’s surface. Indonesia has the most active volcanoes of any country in the world. In the past, repeated eruptions have caused destruction and fatalities.

More than 1,000 people died and hundreds were injured the last time Mount Agung erupted between 1963 and 1964. 

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