Bali on high alert as tens of thousands flee volcano

Source:AFP Published: 2017/9/24 22:53:39

More than 34,000 people have fled from a rumbling volcano on the resort island of Bali as the magnitude of tremors grows, prompting fears it could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years, an official said Sunday.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said the number of people fleeing their homes surrounding the volcano had tripled since Friday amid growing alarm that Mount Agung could erupt at any moment.

"The evacuation process is ongoing and we expect the number of evacuees to continue to rise," the agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP.

The volcano, located about 75 kilometers from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been rumbling since August.

Officials announced the highest possible alert level on late Friday following the increasing volcanic activities and urged people to stay at least nine kilometers away from the crater.

"I am actually very worried to leave, I left my cows and pigs at home because we were ordered to vacate our village immediately," a villager, Nyoman Asih, told AFP.

The international airport in Bali's capital, Denpasar, was anticipating possibilities of airport closure but no flights had been affected as of Sunday.

The airport has prepared buses and trains to divert passengers to alternative hubs in neighboring provinces if the mountain erupts.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said tremors happened less frequently on Sunday but were stronger than in previous days.



Posted in: ASIA-PACIFIC

blog comments powered by Disqus