Locals, animals flee with fears Bali volcano could erupt at anytime

by Abel Hampton September 29, 2017, 0:26
Locals, animals flee with fears Bali volcano could erupt at anytime

"During the 1963 Mount Agung eruption, obviously the technology was not as good as what we have now, there were no volcanologists urging people to evacuate, that's why the number of victims was high", said Surono, one of the country's leading volcanologists, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said Mount Agung was highly active on Thursday, recording 125 volcanic earthquakes between 12am (1700 GMT) and 6am.

The exclusion zone around the mountain extends as far as 7.5 miles from the crater in places.

"Officers continue to sweep the area and are appealing for people to evacuate", he said.

The volcano last erupted in 1963, killing over 1,000 people.

"I was very anxious about the situation" said Nyoman Suarta, who lives in a village just outside the danger zone.

"The chances of an eruption are very high, but we can not be sure when it will erupt", he said at a news conference in the capital, Jakarta. "So I chose to get out to save myself with my stuff and my pet", he said, carrying a bird in a cage. Sirens will be sounded if an eruption occurs.

"They are afraid of being hit in case of an eruption", said Gede Sumartana, an official at an emergency post dealing with the displaced in Karangasem district.

More than 100,000 people have evacuated the area, which has been shaken by as many as 175 tremors in a six-hour period, according to the Express. "We want to get out of here just to be safe", said an Australian woman at Bali's airport who identified herself as Miriam.

Almost 50,000 people have fled their homes near the Mount Agung volcano, with tremors continuing to increase in intensity and frequency.

The airport in Bali's capital Denpasar, through which millions of foreign tourists pass every year, has not been affected, but several countries including Australia and Singapore have issued a travel advisory. The mountain, which sits about 70 kilometers northeast of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

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