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

Terry Joseph
September 27, 2017

"Denpasar City and most of the touristic destinations in Bali are safe from the eruption or unsafe impact of the eruption", said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of Information and data of Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency. Indonesian authorities raised the alert level for the Mount Agung volcano to the highest level as almost 50,000 villagers around the mountain evacuated their homes and travel warnings have issued for the popular tourist destination.

"Some of our Bali bound flights will be making fuel stops in Darwin". While most come from Australia, China and Japan, an estimated 330,000 Britons also travel to Indonesia every year. The disaster mitigation agency recorded about 62,000 people live in the unsafe zone.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the agency's spokesman, said evacuees are spread across more than 370 locations on the island, including temporary camps, sports centres, village halls and the houses of friends and relatives. They are scheduled to depart for Bali from Ahmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, Central Java, at 5:15 p.m. local time.

Indonesia's national disaster agency has dispatched 640,000 face masks, 12,500 mattresses, 8,400 blankets, 50 tents, and has a budget of $75,000 for assistance.

Ash and smoke was spat up to 10 kilometres into the air and even reached the capital Jakarta, located around 1000 kilometres away.

More than 15,000 people of Bali around the foot of Mount Agung, a volcano were were evacuated to GOR Swacepura refuge and 125 other places on September 23.

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The volcano is one of the most active in the region's Ring of Fire seismic zone and experts predict it will erupt in coming days, prompting the government to take precautions to prevent a repeat of its last eruption in 1963 which killed 1,600 people. "My feeling is the mountain will erupt. The earthquakes are happening less frequently but the magnitude is getting stronger", Gede Suantika, a senior volcanologist at the agency told AFP.

President Joko Widodo visited shelters near Mount Agung on Tuesday and urged residents to follow evacuation procedures after reports that some people were reluctant to leave their homes because nothing had happened.

In case of a big eruption, the danger zone could be expanded.

Mount Agung is at the left.

Working to evacuate and feed the animals along with JAAN is Bali NGO, BARC, as well as Animals Indonesia.

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