Bali raises volcano alert


DENPASAR, 21 September 2017: Bali’s governor has urged people to remain calm amid fears of a volcanic eruption on the holiday island, local newspapers reported on Wednesday,

Seismic activity at the Mount Agung, or Gunung Agung, volcano has significantly increased since Monday, leading authorities to raise the alert to level 4, and evacuate areas within 7.5 km of the volcano.

On Tuesday, Asian Trails, in an alert to its trade partners, reported Mount Agung was unleashing a series of smoke columns.

Local authorities, who are constantly monitoring the volcano, raised the alert level from three to four and initiated a safety parameter around the crater rim. The tour operator’s local office said the volcanic ash from Mount Agung had not impacted on Besakhi temple, a popular tourist destination, situated close to the volcano.

“Also our popular Mount Agung trekking tours and sightseeing tours are operating normally without any operational issues. ”

Local officials said the situation had deteriorated with the “earthquake frequency  very high, this is worrying,” an official at the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation explained.

Mount Agung is a popular hiking spot for foreign tourists.

The volcano last erupted in 1963, emitting ash 10 km high and killing more than 1,000 people.

Bali’s Governor tried to reassure worried locals that all measures were in place to cope with a possible eruption

“This is a natural disaster, we cannot avoid it, we can’t stop it exploding but we can reduce the number of victims and loses,” he said.

There has been no impact on flights in and out of Bali.

No travel warnings have been issued, except for the hiking tours that extend to the rim of Mount Agung.