Volcano Eruption in Philippines on December 30 2018 05:18 AM (UTC).
Nearly 50,000 people have fled the Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing an imminent eruption. Waskita Sutadewa, the spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency in Bali, said Monday that people have scattered to all corners of the island and some have crossed to the neighboring island of Lombok. The volcano's alert status was raised to the highest level on Friday following a dramatic increase in seismic activity. It last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people.
Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian resort island of Bali erupted on Thursday night, spewing column of volcanic ash, Indonesian authorities said. The height of the volcanic ash could not be seen as the mountain peak was covered by thick haze. The eruption took place at 7:55 p.m. Central Indonesian Time (1155 GMT), and lasted for 4 minutes and 26 seconds, according to data from Mount Agung monitoring outpost located in Rendang, Bali's Karangasem regency. The agency kept the alert status of Mount Agung at second highest Level 3 out of the highest Level 4. Indonesia's Center of Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation has set a danger zone of 4 km from Mount Agung's crater, advising locals, tourists and trekkers not to have any activities within the danger zone. The agency also advised residents living around rivers with upstream near Mount Agung's summit to stay alert on secondary impacts from the eruption. Heavy rain may drift down cold lava and volcanic materials from the peak of the volcano to the rivers, the agency said. Mount Agung last erupted on Dec. 30, 2018, affecting areas in Bali's eastern regency of Karangasem. The eruption lasted for around 3 minutes.
The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has said the eruption of Mount Agung in Karangasem regency, Bali, on Saturday occurred because of the accumulation of volcanic gases. "The eruption was caused by a buildup of gases," PVMBG head Kasbani said in Bandung, West Java, on Sunday. He further said volcanic gases and other materials such as rocks and hot lava were released from Mt. Agung's crater during Saturday's eruption, which also resulted in ash rain in surrounding areas. The potential for a bigger eruption is relatively small, he said. As reported earlier, Mt. Agung erupted again at 4:09 a.m. local time Sunday, in which the PVMBG recorded that the eruption lasted three minutes and eight seconds and had a maximum amplitude of 22 millimeters. The agency declared the alert status of Mt. Agung to be Level III (watch) and the danger zone a 4-kilometer radius from the crater. Mt. Agung previously erupted on July 27. The volcano did not show any increase in activity over the next five months, resulting in the accumulation of volcanic materials in its crater that led to a build-up of gases. On July 29, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake occurred in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, which was followed by a string of aftershocks. Kasbani said the tectonic quakes in Lombok led to the release of Mt. Agung's volcanic gases. "Indeed, an eruption can happen at any time. But for now, the condition [of Mt. Agung] is relatively stable," said Kasbani.