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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Baliís Mt. Agung Spews Out 1,500-Meter-High Ash Cloud

JAKARTA Ė Mt. Agung volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali showed on Saturday increasing volcanic activity as it expelled a 1,500-meter-high (4,921 feet) cloud of ash, officials said.

However, the authorities continued to maintain an eruption alert level of 3 (the maximum is 4) and an orange aviation alert (the second highest level below red) for Agung, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, chief of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management, said in a statement.

Nugroho urged the local population and tourists to remain calm and take precautions owing to the effect of the ash rain and added that an exclusion zone established around the crater continued to remain at a radius of 6-7.5 kilometers (3.7-4.7 miles).

The Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said in a statement that the effect of the ash clouds could extend beyond the exclusion zone, depending on the direction of the wind.

The volcano is located in the eastern part of the island, in the Karangasem district and away from the majority of the tourist attractions of Bali.

The eruption has not affected operations in the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, the capital of the province.

More than 25,000 residents of Karangasem district continue to be displaced owing to the eruption alert although the number had reached 140,000 at the end of September.

On Tuesday, the volcano expelled a 700 meter high cloud of black vapor, the first non-magmatic eruption since the eruptions of 1963 and 1964.

During that period, the eruptions lasted almost a year and caused more than 1,100 deaths.

Bali is the main tourist destination of Indonesia with a monthly influx of some 200,000 foreign tourists, according to official data.

The Southeast Asian country sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic and volcanic activity, and experiences thousands of tremors per year, mostly of small magnitude.

 

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