Residents in the vicinity of Mount Agung are being urged to stay at least 3 km away from the volcano, following increased seismic activity in the region over the past few days.
Bali’s most famous volcano has been grumbling into life since the beginning of September, with sharp spikes in the seismic scale reported over the weekend. A cordon is being set up and preparations made for evacuation in case the activity leads to an eruption.
Yesterday (18/9) at 10 p.m. the threat level was raised from 2 to 3 (out of a possible 4), confirmed in a public statement by I Gusti Ayu Mas Sumatri, Head of Karangasem Regency. The government is taking precautions in case the volcano erupts, although rumblings under Mt. Agung are nothing new; fluctuations in seismic activity in the surrounding area commonplace.
“Since mid-August 2017 there has been volcanic seismicity, but it has disappeared and appeared again since early September 2017,” said Head of Volcano Mitigation Center of Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency of Geology Ministry of ESDM, Gede Suantika, in Amlapura, Bali, on Sunday.
At the time of writing, it’s business as usual in Bali; the airport in Denpasar remains open and flights are as yet unaffected. Although there is no immediate danger, visitors to Bali in the coming days should be aware that the situation is liable to change quickly, with disruptions to travel a possibility. Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency continues to work together with geologists, volcanologists and local authorities to ensure the safety of local residents and tourists alike.
Panorama Destination is monitoring the current situation closely and will continue to post news updates as soon as new information becomes available.
Mt. Agung has erupted four times since the start of the nineteenth century, with the most recent eruption in 1963. Indonesia is located on the ring of fire; a long line of volcanoes at the meeting point of tectonic plates that join the Pacific and Indian Oceans. There are a 147 active and dormant volcanoes in Indonesia, three of which can be found in Bali (Batur, Bratan and Agung).