Food aid, face masks dispatched to Bali as 57000 flee volcano

"Agung volcano is said to be close to erupting and the Bali island just shaken by a M4.2 natural disaster".

Although it's not possible to predict exactly when a volcanic eruption will take place, increased temblors in and around the mountain indicate that magma is building up and stirring inside the volcano.

That's more than the number of people who live there, but others outside the zone are also fleeing to evacuation centers on the island, according to the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency.

On Monday, the observation post at Mount Agung recorded 547 volcanic earthquakes, a figure which quadrupled from 119 quakes registered on September 22, which, together with other parameters, indicated that magma levels were likely to be ascending, reports Efe news.

Hoaxes have proliferated online, with videos of previous eruptions in Indonesia circulated as current events at Mount Agung.

Agung is the highest point in Bali. More than 500,000 people evacuated when Mount Merapi in central Java erupted in 2010, more than double the population in the exclusion zone around that volcano, he said.

Mount Agung is located 72 kilometres from the popular tourist destination Kuta and is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

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As Mount Agung in Bali is shaken by unprecedented levels of seismic activity and 75,000 people evacuate from the surrounding area, local officials are warning the volcano could erupt in "a matter of hours".

Trekking tours on the mountain have been cancelled by operators but officials have otherwise been at pains to assure tourists the island is safe.

He added: "There is a definite possibility that it will erupt, however we don't know when it will happen".

Arrivals at the Denpasar global airport remain stable at about 50,000 to 60,000 per day.

Singaporean Monica Goh - who arrived for a five-day holiday in Bali with friends on Saturday (Sept 23), a day after the alert level was raised to the highest level - said she was not too anxious about any possible eruption.

"No eruption. That is my prayer", she said.

  • Toni Ryan