Island on high alert due to risk of volcanic eruption - more than 100,000 residents evacuated and international airport closed!
Bali’s sacred peak, Mt. Agung, is at a high risk of eruption! See what effects this has for the popular destination and stay updated with the current situation.
It’s been several weeks now since the famous volcano of Mt. Agung, Bali’s most sacred peak, has been seen producing volcanic activity. . The volcano last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people. As of Monday 27th November the island has once again been put on high alert due to the high risk of eruption. Smoke and ash have been seen rising from the volcano’s peak for several days now and 40,000 have already left their homes. However, volcanic activity has since strengthened this morning, with smoke and ash clouds now billowing out to a height of over 3,000 feet, accompanied by constant explosive eruptions, sounds and small, localised tremors.
Current Situation in Bali
Given that the risks are so high, the local government have now decided to evacuate more than 100,000 people living within a certain radius of Mt. Agung, with some villages having already been covered by ash. The process is on-going, and the island’s governor has since said that the number could rise to 150,000 people. An exclusion zone has been put in place around the volcano, which extends up to 10km around the mountain.
Airport Closures & Flights
Denpasar International Airport has been closed, resulting in tens of thousands of passengers being left stranded. All flights due to take place on the 27th November have been cancelled, and the airport’s closure has also been extended to the 28th. Flights that were already en-route have been diverted. Ash clouds are heading east on the wind – air traffic to the neighbouring island of Lombok was temporarily diverted but services have since resumed as normal.
Extra busses to Denpasar Airport and various ferry terminals have since been deployed to help any travellers stranded at the airport. Tourists looking to evacuate the island are recommend to take the ferry to the neighbouring island of Java, but be warned that ferry services will be heavily congested at this time!
In Bali right now? Avoid the area around Mt. Agung and watch out for lahar, known as cold lava flows. This is a type of volcanic phenomenon that turns rivers into powerful mudflows – it’s said to have a consistency of wet concrete and it can tear its way down rivers and streams at break-neck speed. Avoid any and all rivers around the volcano as it’s something that’s not to be underestimated.
Indonesia’s Centre for Volcanology has raised the alert status to its highest level. However, authorities have asked for people to remain calm – Indonesia is situated on the so-called “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific, where natural plate tectonics result in a higher density of volcanoes and earthquakes. In Indonesia alone there are over 120 currently active volcanoes.
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