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Fearing eruption, thousands in Bali flee from Mount Agung

BALI, Indonesia (AP) -- Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island of Bali huddled Saturday in temporary shelters, sports centers and with relatives, fearing Mount Agung will erupt for the first time in more than half a century.

Villagers rest at a temporary shelter in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia, on Saturday. -- Photo AP

Authorities raised the volcano's alert status to the highest level on Friday following a “tremendous increase” in seismic activity. Its last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people. Villager Made Suda said he left overnight with 25 family members and as much food, clothes, cooking equipment and bedding they could carry to stay in the Klungkung sports centre.

“I feel grief and fear, feel sad about leaving the village and leaving four cows because it's empty. Everyone has evacuated,” he said Saturday.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said no one should be within 9 kilometres of the crater and within 12 kilometres to the north, northeast, southeast and south-southwest where lava flows, lahars or rapidly moving white-hot ash clouds from an eruption could reach .

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman SutopoPurwoNugroho said more than 15,000 villagers have been officially evacuated.

Officials have said there is no current danger to people in other parts of Bali, a popular tourist island famous for its surfing, beaches and elegant Hindu culture.


(Latest Update
September 25,
2017)


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