Published: Wed, September 27, 2017
Research | By Francis Brooks

Jokowi to visit Mount Agung evacuees in Klungkung

Jokowi to visit Mount Agung evacuees in Klungkung

Pak Kasbani, the head of the volcanology centre, told local media that if tremors continued, an eruption - the first in more than half a century - could be a "matter of hours" away. Indonesian authorities raised the alert level for the volcano to the highest level, as almost 50,000 villagers around the mountain evacuated their homes. The airport remains open, although there are plans in place if the volcano does erupt.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people.

The Indonesian national disaster agency (BNPB) said there had been more than 560 deep volcanic earthquakes recorded on Monday alone.

"We need to pay attention because these kinds of earthquakes indicate the movement of magma and increase the probability of an eruption".

The mountain, 72 kilometers (45 miles) to the northeast of the tourist hotspot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

Vehicles laden with food, masks and bedding have been dispatched to help more than 57,000 people who have fled a volcano on the tourist island of Bali, as rising magma and increased tremors fuel fears of an imminent eruption.

"There will definitely be an impact on (sales of) tour packages but we don't know the figures yet", said Agustinus Pake Seko of PT Bayu Buana travel agency.

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The warning level has been updated to four, the highest level on Indonesia's Volcano Activities Warning System.

Air Force helicopter Superpuma will take Jokowi to Klungkung on Tuesday at noon after he wraps up a visit to Buleleng regency to distribute land certificates to people in Buleleng, the Palace said in a press release.

"This number of seismicity is an unprecedented seismic observation at Agung volcano ever recorded by our seismic networks", the Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation said in a statement.

Ash clouds from volcanoes and eruptions have disrupted tourism in Bali and other parts of Indonesia in the past.

One Spanish tourist, Jordi Portalo, 23, said he was unperturbed by the rumbling volcano.

"We can meet their daily needs for the next few days", he said.

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