Watch Mount Agung ERUPT as tourist hotspot issues 'RED WARNING'

Aaron Brown
November 27, 2017

Authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people from 224 points on the Indonesian island of Bali this weekend after the eruption of Mount Agung, which spewed very big clouds of potentially life-threatening ash into the atmosphere, CNN reported.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the ash column from Mount Agung rose 1500m following an eruption at about 5:30pm on Saturday.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing over 1,600 people, and has been threatening another major eruption since August.

"We raised the status to red [the highest warning level] as volcanic ash clouds had reached an altitude of more than six kilometers above sea level", said Kasbani, the head of PVMBG, on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency. However it warned that the movement of ash cloud is highly unpredictable and flights could still be cancelled at short notice.

Staff at Indonesia's volcano monitoring centre said it was not just pulverised rock being blown out of Mt Agung, but magma has now reached the volcano's surface.

The alert status remains at level 3, the second-highest level.

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An exclusion zone of 7.5km (4.5 miles) remains in place for those near the volcano, with authorities distributing masks to those in close proximity to smoke.

Residents were evacuated from 224 points around the island while Lombok International Airport on Pulau Lombok, the island due east of Bali, has closed temporarily, said Ari Ahsan, spokesman for Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.

There are fears the volcano could erupt for the first time since 1963, when almost 1,600 people died.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country, including some of the world's most famous, such as: Krakatau (Krakatoa), Tambora, and Merapi.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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