The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has said that more than 34,000 people have been evacuated from areas in and around Karangasem regency in Bali following reports of an increase in volcanic activity at Mount Agung.
“The evacuation process is ongoing and we expect the number of evacuees to continue to rise,” the agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, as quoted by The Guardian.
Sutopo said that the number of people fleeing their homes has tripled since Friday when the BNPB reported a total of 58 shallow volcanic tremors, 318 deep volcanic tremors and 44 local tectonic tremors, prompting fears that Mount Agung could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.
Mount Agung, which has been rumbling since August, is located around 75 kilometres away from Bali’s tourist hub of Kuta. The status of the mountain has been upgraded to alert by the BNPB which has also made sure that tourist sites in Bali such as Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Beratan Bedugul Lake and Tampak Siring Castle, Bali Safari and Marine Park, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Sanur Beach, Tanjung Benoa, Goa Gajah, Nusa Penida area and Kuta Beach are safe from any volcanic activities of Mount Agung.
The Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) has urged residents around Mount Agung as well as climbers and tourists to stop any activity near the Mount Agung crater area. They are asked to stay away within a six-kilometer radius from the top of Mount Agung with an elevation of 950 meters from sea level and additional sectoral expansion to the north, southeast, and south-southwest for 7.5 kilometers.