Mount Agung in Bali erupts again

Thick smoke emanates from the crater of Mount Agung in Karangasem regency, Bali, during its eruption in 2017.
Thick smoke emanates from the crater of Mount Agung in Karangasem regency, Bali, during its eruption in 2017.PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BALI • Bali's Mount Agung volcano, located in the island's eastern Karangasem regency, erupted again early yesterday, the volcano's observatory said.

The eruption caused ash to fall onto several areas around the mountain. But the ash column that spewed from Mount Agung's crater during the eruption could not be monitored as thick fog shrouded the peak.

"The eruption occurred at 4.09am local time but the height of the ash column could not be measured because of the heavy fog. The eruption was recorded on a seismograph with a maximum amplitude of 22mm and a duration of 3min 8sec," the observatory said in its report yesterday morning.

Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre said the alert for Mount Agung was being maintained at the third level - the second highest danger alert level on the four-level scale - while the danger zone was still within a radius of 4km from the peak.

The centre warned residents and tourists to stay away from the danger zone, where no activity is allowed.

The authorities have forbidden climbing on Mount Agung since its volcanic activity increased last year.

"Volcanic activities in the danger zone are dynamic and can change at any time, according to the condition of the mountain," the observatory said.

 
 

People living along rivers at the foot of Mount Agung have also been warned to remain vigilant for possible cold lava flows, which can occur during rain.

Mount Agung has been erupting periodically since it rumbled back to life in November last year. An eruption in June temporarily shut the holiday island's airport and grounded hundreds of flights. Mount Agung's last major eruption in 1963 killed around 1,600 people.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2018, with the headline 'Mount Agung in Bali erupts again'. Print Edition | Subscribe