Evacuations from Bali volcano cross 57000, officials expect Mount Agung eruption

A villager rides past by with Mount Agung seen in the background in Karangasem Bali Indonesia Sunday Sept. 24 2017. Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island have been evacuated to temporary shelters amid fear that Mount Agung will erupt

The increasing frequency of deep and shallow volcanic earthquakes, as well as local tectonic tremors, is an indication that magma continues to move toward the surface. However, it was 10 times smaller than Mount Agung's 1963 eruption.

President Joko Widodo and First Lady Iriana Jokowi are scheduled on Tuesday (9/26/2017) to visit Mount Agung's evacuees in Bali Province and will hand over aids worth more than IDR7.1 billion.

"Tremors are being becoming more frequent".

Data showed that Mount Agung experienced 844 volcanic earthquakes on Monday, and 300 to 400 earthquakes by midday on Tuesday, he said.

Still, there is no guarantee that the volcano will erupt, he said.

As a result of mass evacuations, 57,418 people have been displaced, according to the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB).

Those who have been evacuated have sought shelter in village halls, sports centres and in the homes of relatives in over nine districts.

"This number of seismicity is an unprecedented seismic observation at Agung volcano ever recorded by our seismic networks", the Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation said in a statement.

Indonesia has about 120 active volcanoes.

Almost five million people visited Bali a year ago - majority from mainly from Australia, China and Japan. "But during its sporadic eruptions, Agung has been one of the most prominent injectors of volcanic ash and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere".

Hundreds of domestic and global flights were disrupted in 2016 when a volcano erupted on Bali's neighbouring Lombok island, sending up columns of ash and debris.

The volcano agency's chief Kasbani said Mount Agung had a history of major eruptions that eclipsed recent episodes in Indonesia, including the 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java that claimed at least 350 lives. And a hotel operator in Bali said news of the volcano had caused some guests to cancel their plans. However, this eruption is expected to take much less of a toll.

"Chances of an eruption are high, but we can't say when", he said. This eruption is certainly threatening, but Bali has learned from its past.

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