Over 122000 people flee Bali volcano on eruption alert

Michele Moreno
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.

"It was around 11:30am, we immediately ran, we had nothing with us except the clothes we were wearing", Dauh told AFP.

"They are afraid of being hit in case of an eruption, " he said.

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. "I think there are some people that either don't understand, or don't believe, or are just stubborn and don't want to go", said Kenny Peavy, an American expat who fled with his family last Friday.

One farmer said he was anxious that lava flows could destroy his house and farm.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing almost 1,600 people.

Local animal officials were trying to evacuate the cattle - which need 1,200 tonnes of dry feed a month in addition to grazing - but so far removed only about 1,400 because of a limited number of trucks.

A volcano in Vanuatu - a Pacific archipelago that also sits on the seismic arc - this week forced 7,000 people to flee after it rained rocks and ash on villages.

Mount Agung is among the 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a vast archipelagic nation with 17,500 islands.

Nugroho said Mount Agung has entered a "critical phase", meaning magma has risen closer to the surface, as indicated by hundreds of shallow volcanic tremors that have rattled the area in recent days.

"An eruption of Mount Agung could impact air travel in the region".

The airport in Bali's capital Denpasar has not been affected, but several countries including Australia and Singapore have issued advisories warning travellers to exercise caution. "There are some who are staying behind because the volcano hasn't erupted yet or because of religious beliefs", said Nugroho.

Other reports by Insurance News

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