Breaking News

Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, December 15, 2017

Headline

Bali raises volcano alert to highest level

Massive columns of thick grey smoke

Share on Facebook November 27, 2017, Reporter : BNN/ News24, Reader : 45

news

Karangasem - An eruption could be imminent at a volcano belching huge plumes of smoke on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, officials warned on Monday, as they raised the alert to the highest level and expanded the exclusion zone.

Massive columns of thick grey smoke have been pouring out of Mount Agung since last week and they shot more than 3km into the sky early on Monday, prompting the island's international airport to be closed, leaving thousands of tourists stranded.

Agung started rumbling again last week and so-called cold lava flows appeared on Monday - they are similar to mud flows and are often a prelude to the blazing orange lava seen during many volcanic eruptions.

"The volcano's alert level has been raised to the highest level," said senior state volcanologist Gede Suantika. "Constant tremors can be felt."

ALSO READ: Bali volcano spews smoke for second time in a week

Mt. Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1 600 people, one of the deadliest eruptions in a country that has more than 120 active volcanoes.

The exclusion zone around Agung, which is 75km from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been widened to 10km, with people living in that area being urged to evacuate.

About 25 000 people living nearby the mountain have already left their homes and evacuated since Agung first started to spew smoke on Tuesday.

"Continuous ash puffs are sometimes accompanied by explosive eruptions and a weak booming sound," the National Board for Disaster Management said in a statement.

"The rays of fire are increasingly observed at night. This indicates the potential for a larger eruption is imminent."

'Keep calm'

National disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho called for people to stay calm.

"As we have widened the exclusion zone, so the number of people evacuating will increase but we don't have the latest data yet," he told AFP.

Ash from Mount Agung has been covering villages nearby and officials have distributed thousands of face masks to local residents.

"I'm very concerned because I left my house behind and I'm also worried about family," said 36-year-old farmer Putu Suyasa, who fled with some of his relatives from a village 8km away from the volcano.

ALSO READ: Bali volcano spews smoke and ash, raising eruption fears

"The mountain is spewing thicker smoke than before," he added.

The airport in Bali's capital Denpasar, a top holiday destination that attracts millions of foreign tourists every year, has been closed.

"I have to make sure that the runway has no ash," said Bali airport's general manager Yanus Suorayogi, explaining why the airport was shuttered.

The closure is set to affect tens of thousands of passengers, he added.

"It's a natural disaster, okay, but what can we do? We came from India," said one stranded tourist who identified herself as Madhu.

High degree of caution

The airport on Lombok island - also a popular tourist destination east of Bali - has been closed since Sunday afternoon as the ash from Mount Agung headed into that direction, but it re-opened early on Monday.

The Australian government put out a travel advisory on Sunday instructing travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia.

Agung rumbled back to life in September and authorities raised the alert to the highest level, forcing 140 000 people living nearby to evacuate.

The volcano's activity decreased in late October and many people returned to their homes as the alert was lowered to the second-highest level.

The mountain sent smoke up into the air on Saturday for the second time in a week in what volcanologists call a phreatic eruption - one which is caused by the heating and expansion of groundwater.

Dozens of Balinese Hindus took part in ceremonies near the volcano on Sunday, offering prayers in the hope of preventing an eruption.

Officials have said the activity could be a magmatic eruption - one which involves the decompression of gas and results in the spewing of ash - and advised people near the mountain to wear masks.

Indonesia is the world's most active volcanic region. The archipelago nation with over 17 000 islands lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

Last year, seven people were killed after Mt. Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra erupted, while 16 were left dead by a Sinabung eruption in 2014.

The latest on Bali's MtAgung volcano: It's producing continuous 'magmatic' eruptions, which are relieving pressure in the volcano. For flight information, please check with your airline. pic.twitter.com/PCwyDVlD63

- Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) November 27, 2017

The eruption of a volcano in Bali could be imminent.

The state of alert on the island is now at the highest level.https://t.co/xH6PVKDKVm pic.twitter.com/yyRVC7j2J5

- BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) November 27, 2017

Agung eruption ash plume visible again this morning before the daytime clouds build over Bali Balivolcano @janinekrippner YouStormOutlook pic.twitter.com/qDqnzz71ps

- YouStorm (@YouStormorg) November 27, 2017

Source: News24

More Euro Asia news of the month

Photos Indonesian President Orders Officers to Shoot Drug Traffickers

JAKARTA - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has instructed law enforcement officers to shoot drug traffickers to deal with a...

Photos Hard-line Islamist Groups Meet Official, Popular Roadblocks in Indonesia

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - After playing a major role in Indonesian politics by influencing the Jakarta election, hard-line Islamist groups...

Photos Re-election defeat of Jakarta’s first Christian governor in generations dubbed as victory for Indonesia’s conservative Muslims

JAKARTA, Indonesia - In what is being widely seen as a victory for Indonesia’s conservative Muslims - the Jakarta’s first...

Photos Indonesian women becoming more active in jihadist networks: Report

Jakarta [Indonesia], Feb. 5 (ANI): A report by the south-east Asia-focused Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) has urged...

Photos Indonesia draws international ire after deciding to execute drug convicts

CILACAP, Indonesia – The Indonesian government has decided to proceed with the execution of 14 foreign nationals who have been...

Photos Bulgarian Jailed in Indonesia over ATM Fraud

A court has handed a 12-year sentence to a Bulgarian national after finding him guilty of stealing ATM data in Bali, Indonesia.> Big...

Photos Two planes collide at Jakarta airport, no injuries reported

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Two planes collided at the Jakarta airport when the wing of a Batik Air aircraft clipped the tail of a TransNusa...

Photos Two dead in Islamic State attacks in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia - At least two foreigners were killed and nearly two dozen injured on Thursday when suspected Islamic State militants...

Photos More than 100 flights in and out of Bali cancelled for third consecutive day

JAKARTA - Ash from a volcano has shut down over 100 flights on Bali for a third day, authorities said Wednesday. The Indonesian...

Flying Reimagined

Stock Index

Friday, December 15, 2017

Life Style

Photo Gallery

FEUILLETON