By Kyle James   |  09-23-2017   News
Photo credit: Mott Yong

More than 240,000 people are being evacuated in eastern Indonesia as a volcano near Bali's Mount Agung threatens to erupt at any moment. Officials raised the warning level to four which is maximum on Friday night, that means an eruption is imminent. This will be the first time in 54 years the volcano has erupted and smoke can seen pouring from it's tip. The prediction is that the volcano will erupt anytime between now and the next 24 hours through Saturday morning.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: AP</span>

The local people reported that the wildlife including snakes and lizards can be seen fleeing from the volcano. The people have been warned to evacuate from within a nine to twelve kilometer radius when smoke was detected billowing 100 meters into the sky Friday night.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: AP</span>

Travel is still available to Bali as the airport is still operating however a series of increasing tremors has shaken the area around Mount Agung. Between 7:43 a.m. and 9:43 a.m. local time there were three earthquakes. The most recent was measured at 3.4 magnitude.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: AP</span>

The volcano did prompt the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs to issue a travel warning for Indonesia that said the eruption would likely impact the airlines in that region. The warning told travelers to "Contact your airline or tour operator to confirm travel plans." The statement also told travelers to listen to the local media and follow the instructions given by the local authorities.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: AP</span>

Meteorologists are keeping a close eye on conditions and a spokeswoman from Qantas said the airline would make any necessary changes if the situation requires it. The spokeswoman went on to say, "We are closely monitoring the activity of Mount Agung, but there is no impact to our services at this stage."

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: AP</span>

Between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time Friday, around 500 tremors were recorded in the region of Mount Agung with the largest measured at 3.6-magnitude. The earthquakes are still increasing in frequency and intensity with a 3.7-magnitude hitting at 5 a.m. Saturday morning. The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation said the tremors are the greater than any they've measured before, "This number of seismicity is an unprecedented seismic observation at Agung volcano ever recorded by our seismic networks."

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: AP</span>

Kadek Nadi evacuated his family of 22 two days ago from their village in Bukit Galah which is only around 4km from the summit of the volcano. Kadek remembers his grandfather telling him about surviving the 1963 eruption, "They evacuated two days before Mount Agung erupted the last time." Kadek's grandfather told him he survived because they evacuated with the animals, "Monkeys, birds, snakes and deers, all fled the mountain [in 1963]. My grandfather's family evacuated when they saw the animals flee. That's how they survived then."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bali authorities say amount of seismic activity at Mt Agung now at highest ever levels and warn of eruption at any time now <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bali?src=hash">#Bali</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MtAgung?src=hash">#MtAgung</a> <a href="https://t.co/tac5gxMxFZ">pic.twitter.com/tac5gxMxFZ</a></p>&mdash; Cindy Wockner (@CindyWockner) <a href="https://twitter.com/CindyWockner/status/911222026177617920">September 22, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Ni Ketut Arnawi lives in Singaraja which is around 80km from Mount Agung, she describes the morning of the 1963 eruption, "We didn't feel anything, no earthquake, we didn't hear anything either. But that morning, it was just dark, then people start shouting 'It's raining sand'." Arnawi later found out the volcano had erupted that day, "It stayed dark the whole day. We didn't see the sun at all that day." She went on to say, "But other than the darkness and the raining sand, our activity was normal. Maybe because we were far away."

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Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/bali-volcano-australians-warned-to-check-travel-plans-as-240000-residents-evacuate-20170922-gynb00.html

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