More Than 130000 Flee Menacing Bali Volcano

More Than 130000 Flee Menacing Bali Volcano

Kerry Wise
September 29, 2017

Fears that a volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali is about to erupt have sparked an exodus of more than 75,000 people.

Authorities have ordered the evacuation of villagers living within a "danger zone" that in places extends 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from Mount Agung's crater.

In case of an eruption, Indonesia plans to divert flights headed for Bali to 10 other airports, including on nearby Lombok and the capital Jakarta.

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 last eruption was recorded in 1963, Mount Agung has been slowly building up to an eruption since August.

Officials have said there's no immediate threat to tourists, but some are already cutting short their stays in Bali.

"Some residents have voluntarily evacuated their cattle to the homes of nearby relatives that are relatively safe".

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At this time, no flights have been canceled - but travelers should expect Bali International Airport to close in the event of an eruption.

Nugroho said hundreds of thousands of face masks will be distributed in Bali as part of government humanitarian assistance that includes thousands of mattresses and blankets.

"If we look at the magnitude, it continues to increase, yesterday we also felt several quakes with the magnitude of three on the Richter scale", said Kasbani, head volcanologist at the centre who goes by one name.

The animals are extremely valuable to the evacuees - mostly farmers - some of whom have refused to leave the danger zone, the spokesman said.

Mount Sinabung on Sumatra, an Indonesian island 2,250km from Bali, has been erupting periodically since 2010, belching a kilometres-high cloud of ash that has forced over 30,000 people to evacuate.

The country of thousands of islands is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.