Tens of thousands flee rumbling Bali volcano
KARANGASEM - Agence France-PresseMore than 34,000 people have fled from a rumbling volcano on the resort island of Bali as the magnitude of tremors grows, prompting fears it could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years, an official said Sept. 24.
Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said the number of people fleeing their homes surrounding the volcano had tripled since Sept. 22 amid growing alarm that Mount Agung could erupt at any moment.
“The evacuation process is ongoing and we expect the number of evacuees to continue to rise,” the agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP.
The volcano, located about 75 kilometers from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been rumbling since August.
Officials announced the highest possible alert level on late Sept. 22 following the increasing volcanic activities and urged people stay at least nine kilometers away from the crater.
“I am actually very worried to leave, I left my cows and pigs at home because we were ordered to vacate our village immediately,” villager Nyoman Asih who evacuated with her entire family told AFP.
The international airport in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, was anticipating possibilities of airport closure but no flight schedules had been affected as of Sept. 24.