Highest level of volcano alert in Bali

Bali raised the alert to the highest level and increased the exclusive zone to 10 kilometres radius of Mount Agung as an eruption could be imminent with the volcano belching huge plumes of smoke, according to The Jakarta Post Online on Monday.

Senior state volcanologist Gede Suantika said Mount Agung was belching thick grey smoke more than 2-3 milies into the sky early Monday.

About 25,000 people living nearby the mountain have already left their homes and evacuated since the volcano first started to spew smoke last Tuesday.

However, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho called for people to remain calm.

Ask from the volcano has been covering villages nearby volcano and officials have distributed thousands of face masks to local residents.

The airport in Denpasar, Bali’s capital, a top holiday destination, has been closed and this has affected tens of thousands of tourists.

Also, the airport on Lombok island, another tourist destination east of Bali, was closed since Sunday afternoon as the ask from Mount Agung drifted into that direction, but it reopens early Monday.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,600 people. It rumbled back to life in September before its activity decreased in October. But last Tuesday, it rumbled again.