Jokowi to hand over Rp 7.1b to Mount Agung evacuees

Posted September 27, 2017

The last time it erupted in 1963, more than 1,000 people were killed.

"Officers continue to sweep the area and are appealing for people to evacuate", he said.

"This number of seismicity is an unprecedented seismic observation at Agung volcano ever recorded by our seismic networks", the Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation said in a statement.

Government vulcanologist Surono, who uses one name, said the feared eruption could be huge and potentially also close airports in East Java and Lombok, according to local media reports.

An increasing frequency of tremors from the volcano indicates magma is continuing to move toward the surface and an eruption is possible, said National Disaster Mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Meanwhile, the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) is also rescuing dogs in the area and has set up a temporary shelter for relocated animals abandoned in the face of the potential eruption.

Vehicles loaded with noodles, mineral water and blankets have been sent to the evacuation centres, while residents around the island have been collecting donations.

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A farmer works in her field as mount Agung is seen in the background on September 26, 2017 in Karangasem regency, Island of Bali, Indonesia.

Bali's "sister village" programme and tradition of communal assistance means evacuees have been able to stay in villages outside the danger zone.

"For Agung we have no instrumental documentation", said Syahbana.

In a televised news conference, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said "the highest priority is the safety of our people" and urged those around Mount Agung to follow the instructions of authorities. Almost 5 million tourists visited Bali previous year.

Seismic activity from the volcano has escalated dramatically in the past two weeks but officials say there is no reason for tourists to panic and the island famous for its surfing, beaches and elegant Hindu culture is still safe to visit.

The airport in Bali's capital Denpasar, through which millions of foreign tourists pass every year, has not been affected, but several countries including Australia and Singapore have put out a travel advisory.

Mount Agung is located 72 kilometres from the popular tourist destination Kuta and is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia. It was reported that planes that fly in Bali are fueling extra fuel against possibility of returning.