Volcano Activity in Indonesia on September 14 2017 05:05 PM (UTC).
The alert level for a rumbling volcano on the Indonesian resort island of Bali that forced more than 100,000 to flee has been lowered, authorities said Sunday, but there is still a chance it could erupt. Volcanic activity in Mount Agung is slowing and the volcano's status has been lowered from level four "danger" to level three "alert" by Indonesia's volcanology centre. The agency said villagers whose homes are located further than six km from the crater could return home but warned that the mountain, which has been shaking for months, had not quite come to a standstill. "The volcanic activities have not completely calmed down and there is still a potential for an eruption," the agency's head Kasbani, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said in a statement. Mount Agung, 75 km from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been rumbling since Aug, sparking fears it could erupt for the first time since 1963 and triggering the highest possible alert level in Sept. More than 133,000 people have been living in shelters for more than a month in fear of an eruption, even though more than half of the refugees actually live outside the danger zone. Officials estimated Mount Agung's increasing activity had cost Bali at least US$110 million, (RM466 million) from the hit to the tourism sector and loss of productivity while villagers were staying at shelters. Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.
Earthquake activity from Bali's Mount Agung has reached its highest level since the volcano came back to life in August. The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation has the volcano at its highest alert level short of an eruption. Last weekend there was an earthquake that measured at 4.6 on the Richter scale while almost 1000 smaller tremors a day are also being recorded. There are increases in shallow and deep tremors indicating magma is moving upwards. All airlines are monitoring the situation closely and travellers have been urged to make sure their contact details are up to date. Various governments have warned that travel to Bali could be severely affected by an eruption and Bali's international airport has set up an emergency operations centre. Travel insurance companies started imposing restrictions on policies after warnings about the potential eruption became public. This means people who bought travel insurance after a certain date will not be covered for losses relating to the volcano. Mt Agung's last major eruption in 1963 killed almost 2000 people and lasted for more than a year. That eruption was of the same explosive intensity as Mount St Helens in 1981 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991. Last month Professor Heather Handley, an ARC Future Fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, said "if Mount Agung erupts and the eruption is similar to its two previous large-scale eruptions then we might expect to see lava flows reach several kilometres from the summit, in any direction and deadly pyroclastic flows travel tens of kilometres from the summit." "Due to the high level of sulphur dioxide in magma erupted at Agung, if this mixes with water vapour in the atmosphere it can create sulphric acid and so acid rain could be an issue". Bali travellers are being told to take face masks with them and stock up on bottled water once in Bali.
The likelihood of an eruption of the volcano in the near future remains high. Seismic activity is unchanged at very elevated levels, with averages of around 8-900 earthquakes per day. Swarms of volcanic quakes likely reflect rock fracturing events by internal fluid pressure as magma intrudes the edifice at shallow depths. An increase in quakes occurred this evening (early morning in Bali) and can be seen on the seismogram.
In addition, weak episodes of non-harmonic volcanic tremor have begun to occur during the past days as well; while it is not completely understood what causes the various types of volcanic tremor, the common interpretation is that internal movements of magma cause oscillations of the fluid and its conduits (in a similar way as passing air in organ pipes causes resonance). At the surface, the volcano remains however more or less calm. Only a small white steam plume can be seen rising from the crater. An attempt to survey the crater with a drone yesterday failed as the device crashed on its ascent. There are unconfirmed reports from people in the area who told in posts on facebook and other media that animals have started to show unusual behavior. How significant and reliable such reports are is questionable.
Thousands of residents who fled a rumbling volcano in Bali are refusing to leave evacuation centers after being told to return to their homes outside of the immediate danger zone. Officials announced the highest possible alert level for Mount Agung, about 75 kilometres (47 miles) from the resort hub of Kuta, on Sept. 22, telling people not to venture within nine to 12 kilometres of the summit. Some 144,000 people fled their homes following the warning, including about 75,000 who were not in immediate danger, according to officials. The government has since urged evacuees from outside the red zone to return home, but many are refusing to go. "Honestly I don't have the courage to go home right now because my children are still young, our house is located in a narrow alley, I don't know if we will have enough time to evacuate [if the volcano erupts]," mother Cecilia Eka Setyarini Utami, who fled to an evacuation centre in Denpasar, told AFP. Kadek Kanda, the coordinator of an evacuation centre in Bali's capital Denpasar, said his shelter was so full he had stopped accepting evacuees. "Some people whose houses are not within the danger zone have started to return home this morning, but for those who decided to stay, we don't have the heart to tell them to go home." Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said the number of volcanic tremors was still high -- 222 between midnight and 6am Monday -- but the situation was stable. "You have acceleration prior to September 22. At that moment we increased the alert level, but thereafter the number of seismicity is almost the same day by day," said Devy Kamil, a senior official at the centre, told AFP. White steam clouds -- which contain sulphurous fumes -- have been observed rising 50 to 200 meter above the summit. Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. In 2010, Mount Merapi on the island of Java erupted after rumbling since 2006, while Mount Sinabung on Sumatra island -- which is currently also on the highest alert level -- has been active since 2013. Volcanologists cannot predict when an eruption may occur, but Kamil said the risk had not decreased. Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing nearly 1,600 people..
A second Indonesian volcano has erupted while residents evacuated from the island of Bali anxiously awaited the eruption of local volcano Mount Agung. A videographer captured Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupting on Wednesday in a series of time lapse photos as it spewed ash as high as 2.5 kilometres into the sky.0 The eruption of the volcano in North Sumatra caught traveller and videographer, Matt Kawa, by surprise. Kawa told Reuters he was setting up his camera in anticipation for its eruption, but did not expect it to happen immediately. The volcano has erupted many times in recent years, killing six people in 2016. Sinabung's eruption came when the country was on high alert for the eruption of Mount Agung in the tourist island of Bali, where at least 140,000 people have been evacuated. The chance of an eruption remains high as the volcano continues exhibiting signs of unrest, a geologist said Friday. Gede Suantika, a geologist at the Mount Agung Observation Post, said the volcano has maintained a menacingly high level of seismic activity, with tremors shaking the mountain daily since volcanic activity began increasing on September 18. "The condition of this volcano is still critical, and ready to erupt. But until now we cannot see the eruption, but the activity under the volcano is still high," Mr Suantika said. Authorities have issued the highest level alert for the volcano, declaring an area up of to 12 kilometres from the crater as off-limits.
The number of people evacuated over the possible eruption of Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali, the country`s major tourist destination, crossed 144,000 on Friday. Those evacuated were housed in hundreds of shelters across nine districts on the island. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) told Efe news that although the exclusion zone established around the volcano was now practically empty, a few residents had refused to leave, unwilling to abandon their livestock. A 12-km radius exclusion zone was set up around the volcano and the alert level for the possible eruption was cranked up to the maximum 4 on September 22. "If an eruption does occur, it is most likely to be small at first. However, a large eruption may follow," the head of Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVMPG) said. Over the last few days, a column of smoke has been emanating from the crater, reaching an altitude of between 50 and 200 meters. CVMPG, as well as the provincial government of Bali, maintained that it was safe to travel to the island and a plan had been prepared to divert planes bound for Bali`s Ngurah Rai International Airport in case of an eruption. Experts say it is impossible to predict if the 3,031 meter high volcano will erupt or not, but that there was a greater possibility of an eruption. The BNPB had said on September 21 that the current tremors were similar to those that occurred before Mount Agung erupted in 1963, which lasted almost a year and killed over 1,100 people. Indonesia is home to more than 400 volcanoes, of which at least 127 are active and 65 are classified as dangerous.
Thousands of people have been evacuated on the Indonesian island of Bali after signs the Mount Agung volcano could blow imminently. Nearly 135,000 have been moved from their homes into makeshift evacuation centres after volcano began to spew white smoke and send tremors through the area. Hundreds of tremors are being recorded at the site each day, prompting officials to raise the alert status to the highest level last week. Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, sending clouds of hot ash, gases and rock down its slopes and killing more than 1,000 people. Evacuees living closest to the volcano are being housed in tents, schools and government buildings in neighbouring villages. Many are unsure if they will be able to return to their homes. "If my house is destroyed I don't know how to restart my life. I don't know where my kids will sleep and all I can do now is pray," said farmer Gusti Gege Astana. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country. The country is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area which contains more than 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. Mount Agung's activity is also affecting the island's tourism industry. Bali is a popular destination but many people are having second thoughts about holidays after warnings were issued about the volcano. Bali's tourism department on Thursday issued a letter reassuring travellers, saying flights were operating normally. "The island is safe except for areas around Mount Agung. We urge tourists to continue visiting," it said.
Volcanic activity from Monaro volcano on Ambae has increased overnight and the Vanuatu Meteorology and GeoHazards (VMGD) have raised the Alert Level to 4 'Moderate eruption state'. Ambrym remains at Alert Level 3. The National Emergency Operations Centre and the Penama Emergency Operations Centre are now both operational. The Penama Provincial Disaster and Climate Change Committee (PDCCC) are taking lead in the coordination on-ground with support of the Provincial Disaster Officer and partner agencies. The NDMO and VMGD will undertake a mission to Ambae tomorrow 24th September departing Port Vila in the morning. Director NDMO and the Manager GeoHazards Department will meet with Provincial Authorities to advance coordination and planning before returning to Port Vila. NDMO specialists in evacuation management and provincial liaison will stay on to support provincial authorities. The National Disaster Committee (NDC) met yesterday 22nd September for an information briefing. An inter-agency briefing is planned for Monday 25th September 2017. The NDMO has undertaken public awareness through the media including: live radio, targeted sms messages to Ambae and through facebook. The Vanuatu Red Cross have provided an update on available non-food items (NFIs) countrywide.
Warnings that a volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali will erupt have sparked an exodus of more than 75,000 people that is likely to continue to swell, the country's disaster agency said Tuesday. Authorities have ordered the evacuation of villagers living within a high danger zone that in places extends 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Mount Agung's crater. But people further away are also leaving, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. The region is being rattled daily by hundreds of tremors from the mountain, which volcanologists say indicates a high chance of an eruption. Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people. Evacuees are taking shelter at more than 370 sites across the island that include temporary camps, sport centers, village halls and the houses of friends and relatives. Villager Wayan Merta said he was among the first to evacuate last week because his village, Selat, is just 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the summit. "We have already sold our cattle, because we thought it was better than leaving them there for nothing," he said. "My feeling is the mountain will erupt," he said. "But no one knows, we just pray." Sutopo said it was "natural" that people outside the immediate danger zone are leaving. 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. In 1963, Agung hurled ash as high as 20 kilometers (12 miles) and remained active about a year. Lava traveled 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) and ash reached Jakarta, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away. "This is the heaviest test in my live and hopefully it will end soon," said Ketut Suliasih, a Selat villager. She said evacuees are being treated well by the government and community, but like others she is fearful about the future. "No eruption. That is my prayer. Otherwise, our farms would not be able to be planted again." President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited a sports center serving as temporary accommodation in a district south of the volcano on Tuesday. In a televised news conference, he said "the highest priority is the safety of our people" and urged those around Mount Agung to follow the instructions of authorities. In the Central Java town of Yogyakarta, about 500 people gathered at a Hindu temple to pray for the safety of people near the volcano. They presented traditional offerings and collected money for the evacuees. Bali is the only predominantly Hindu province in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.
The number of evacuees has risen to more than 57,000 as a volcano in Bali resort island is potential to erupt, a senior official of disaster agency said on Tuesday. That compares to over 48,000 as of Monday as seismic activity of Gunung Agung in Karang Asem district is continuously increasing. Indonesia has raised the alert level to the highest for the Gunung Agung volcano. "Volcanic activities keep rising as movement of magma to the surface has been more intensive," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of national disaster management agency told Xinhua in a text message. Frequency of deep and shallow volcanic tremors, and tectonic tremors have increased, he added. President Joko Widodo is to visit the displaced persons at evacuation centers on Tuesday, the official said.
More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing it will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region. The numbers Sunday from disaster officials are more than double previous estimates and are continuing to rise, they say. It includes people who left voluntarily as well as those told to evacuate from a 9-12 kilometer (6-8 mile) zone around Mount Agung. Authorities raised the volcano's alert status to the highest level Friday following a "tremendous increase" in seismic activity. Its last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people. Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, a senior Cabinet minister, said Sunday that the districts surrounding the volcano "must be prepared for the worst." The National Disaster Mitigation Agency has praised the welcoming response of local communities on Bali to the flood of evacuees. Thousands are living in temporary shelters, sport centers, village halls and with relatives or friends. Some return to the danger zone during the day to tend to livestock. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 14 tons of aid has been sent, including tents, blankets, mattresses and portable communications equipment. Truck driver Wayan Suparta said he and his family left their village 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the mountain several days ago, bringing just clothes and blankets to a temporary camp in Rendang. The 35-year-old said he sold the family's cow because they don't know when they'll be able to return. Officials have said there is no current danger to people in other parts of Bali, a popular tourist island famous for its surfing, beaches and elegant Hindu culture. Hoaxes have proliferated online, with videos of previous eruptions in Indonesia circulated as current events at Mount Agung. In 1963, the 3,031-meter (9,944-foot) Agung hurled ash as high as 20 kilometers (12 miles), according to volcanologists, and remained active for about a year. Lava traveled 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) and ash reached Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away. The mountain, 72 kilometers (45 miles) to the northeast of the tourist hotspot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The country of thousands of islands is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
Fears among the many Aussies heading over to Bali for the school holidays have increased amid a volcanic eruption warning and an earthquake. Holiday-makers heading over to Bali have been urged to be vigilant amid fears of increasing seismic activity and the possibility of a volcanic eruption. Fears have increased among the hordes of Australian tourists heading over to the hugely popular vacation destination for the school holidays, following a volcanic eruption warning and an earthquake detected off the coast of the Indonesian island. Indonesian officials have this week warned tourists to avoid the area around Mount Agung in the island's north amid fears it could erupt. The volcano, about 72 kilometres from the resort area of Kuta, is a popular tourist destination and hiking spot. Officials have more than doubled the size of the no-go zone around the Mount Agung volcano and raised its alert level for the second time in less than a week, the Associated Press reported. Phil Sylvester from Travel Insurance Direct is urging those travellers heading over to Indonesia to be watchful. "Should you be worried about a volcano in Bali? Yes. You should keep an eye on media reports and follow the advice of the authorities if they widen the evacuation zone or make clear that increased danger is imminent," Mr Sylvester told news.com.au. However, holiday-makers shouldn't rush to cancel their trips. "Krakatoa- sized eruptions are extremely rare. It isn't like the entire island is going to disappear in a puff of smoke. It depends on where you are but there is an exclusion zone so as long as you follow that advice, you will be fine," he said. The most likely thing that could affect your trip are volcanic ash clouds. "Two years ago, there were volcanoes that blew ash clouds which meant that airspace over Denpasar was closed so people were stranded in Bali. That is mainly the type of thing that could happen. I don't think people should be particularly worried about being the victim of a volcanic eruption but they very well may be victims of interruption to transport." But if you have already booked travel insurance, you will be covered for any interference with your trip. "If you don't already have travel insurance, it is too late to get it because the volcano is a known event. But if you booked your trip and you took out travel insurance straight away, you are protected for it. There is a cut off date that travel insurers enforce," Mr Sylvester told news.com.au. "You can't insure your car after you have an accident so you can't insure your trip now the volcano is a known event." This morning an undersea earthquake also struck off the coast of holiday hotspot. The 5.7 magnitude quake was detected northeast of Kemeduran, which is northwest of Bali, the US Geological Survey confirmed. With a magnitude of almost 6, the earthquake is classified as moderate to strong. It was measured at a depth of 588km.
Bali's Governor has urged people to remain calm amid fears of a volcanic eruption on the holiday island. Seismic activity at the Mount Agung, or Gunung Agung, volcano significantly increased on Monday, leading authorities to issue a level 3, or high, alert and evacuate areas within 7.5 kilometres. "We see that the earthquake frequency is very high, this is worrying when it comes to eruption," said Kasbani, the head of the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation. "The areas should be closed, no hiking because the seismic activity will trigger dangerous gas." Mount Agung is a popular hiking spot for foreign tourists. Kasbani said no volcanic ash had been detected but smoke was rising from the crater. The alert level would be raised to 4, or dangerous, if it became clear an eruption was imminent. The volcano last erupted in 1963, emitting ash 10 kilometres high and killing more than a thousand 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," Made Mangku Pastika said. "If you have to evacuate, you evacuate." He said authorities had prepared locations for residents to store motorbikes, cars and even livestock to reduce losses. "We are prepared, I believe we can handle everything," the Governor said. There has been no impact on flights in and out of Bali. The Governor said tourists should follow advice from officials and hotel staff.
Indonesian officials have more than doubled the size of a no go zone around the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island of Bali and raised its alert level for the second time in less than a week. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said Monday (Sept 18) that people should stay 6 kilometer from the crater, and up to 7.5 kilometers away to the north, southeast and south-southwest. It said the exclusion zone must be empty of all community activities. The agency said there has been a continuing increase in seismic activity as well as visual observations of 50-meter high blasts from the crater. Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing 1,100 people.