Bali on high alert after tremors around Mount Agung volcano
22 September, 2017, 21:09 | Author: Valerie Burke
The indonesian authorities declared on Friday a state of maximum alert on the tourist island of Bali, fearing the eruption of a dormant volcano for over 50 years, after earthquakes had driven thousands of people to flee.
Mount Agung, an active volcano located on the resort island of Bali that has been placed on alert level 3 following recent seismic activity, is seen from Mataram on nearby Lombok island, Indonesia on Thursday.
A series of eruptions at Mount Agung between 1963 and 1964 killed more than 1,000 people and injured hundreds.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said no residents or tourists should be within six miles of the crater and within 7.5 miles to the north, north east, south east and south south-west.
The Department of Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics said there had been a "tremendous increase" in seismic activity at the mountain, indicating a greater probability of an eruption, though it could not give a timeframe.
In response, authorities have raised the emergency alert status to level three, which is only one level away from a mandatory evacuation.
Waskita Sutadewa, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency in Karangasem district around Mount Agung, said almost 11,300 villagers have been officially evacuated but admitted the real number of displaced might be two or three times that, since many have fled voluntarily.
National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho advised people to stay calm and not to believe rumours. "There should be zero public activity within the specified radius in case there is an eruption".
Indonesia lies in the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and cause frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
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