Published on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Bali's Mount Agung erupts again



Bali's Mount Agung began spewing a cloud of ash again just days after authorities lowered the danger level following a sustained period of relative calm.


Sutopo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, said the volcano spewed ash up to 1,500 metres into the air, but so far it has not affected any flight paths in and out of the island's Ngurah Rai airport.


After a steady decrease in activity the warning level was lowered last weekend.


That meant a shrinking of the exclusion zone from 6km to 4km.


Speaking perhaps a little hasty at the weekend, Ignasius Jonan, minister of energy and natural resources said: "People's activities as well as tourism in Bali has been declared safe and there will no more disruption related to the volcano at this time."


Around 15,000 people are still in shelters and wary of returning to their homes near the volcano, Sutopo said.


The agency raised the warning alert for Agung to the highest level in November after accelerated activity in the crater which has hit the Bali tourism industry hard since then


The normally hectic Christmas and New Year holiday period has been one of the most disappointing in recent memory due to Mount Agung travel warnings.


Mount Agung's last major eruption happened more than 50 years ago, devastating parts of northeast Bali and killing more than 1,000 people.


 

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