More than 120,000 people flee smoking volcano in Bali as scientists warn a catastrophic eruption is ‘imminent’ and an entire island in Vanuatu is evacuated as mountain spews ash and gas

Thursday, September 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

More than 120,000 are fleeing a volcano which appears on the brink of erupting on Indonesian island of Bali
Scientists say a dramatic increase in the number of tremors indicates a potentially catastrophic eruption
Meanwhile a whole island of Vanuatu in the south of Pacific Ocean has been evacuated as ash spews into air
Both disaster spots sit on Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, which is an imfamous arc of volcanoes and fault lines

28 September 2017

A massive evacuation is under way on the Indonesian island of Bali as more than 120,000 flee a smoking volcano which appears on the brink of erupting.

Scientists say a dramatic increase in the number of tremors indicates a potentially catastrophic eruption of Mount Agung is ‘imminent’.

Evacuees have been relocated across the resort island, taking shelter in temporary camps, sports centres and other public buildings.

An exclusion zone around the mountain extends as far as 7.5 miles from the crater but people further from the volcano are also leaving in fear for their lives.

Mount Agung, 47 miles from the resort hub of Kuta, has been shaking since August and threatening to erupt for the first time since 1963 – a potential blow to the country’s lucrative tourism industry.

Officials at an evacuation centre in Klungkung district said 122,490 people had left their homes, taking refuge at nearly 500 makeshift shelters or moving in with relatives.

Around 62,000 people lived in the danger zone before the evacuations, according to Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, but residents just outside the area have also left their homes out of fear.

Despite the significant increase in estimated evacuees, the government said it was prepared.

‘In general the evacuation is going well, the logistics supply is sufficient for the evacuees’ needs,’ said spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

This week Indonesia’s national disaster agency sent face masks, mattresses, blankets and tents for evacuees, who have also been provided with food.

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