50000 evacuate as Bali volcano swells

50000 evacuate as Bali volcano swells

The Indonesian tourist haven of Bali has been declared a state of natural disaster, as authorities prepare for the imminent eruption of Mount Agung.

"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.

Emeritus Professor Richard John Arculus from the Australian National University wrote that although infrequent, eruptions of Mount Agung have been among the largest of the past 100 years of global volcanic activity. Some 2,000 cows have also been evacuated from the flanks of the volcano.

She said: "The tourists I have spoke to seem very anxious, I think this is due to having a better understanding and awareness about the dangers involved with an eruption".

Evacuees have packed into temporary shelters or moved in with relatives.

Balinese residents, global NGOs and the government have begun organising aid.

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.

I Ketut Subandi, head of logistics at the village of Tana Ampo, said basic food items like rice, instant noodles, cooking oil and water were most needed.

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"We can meet their daily needs for the next few days", he said. President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit evacuees at several camps on Tuesday.

Nugroho said hundreds of thousands of face masks will be distributed in Bali as part of government humanitarian assistance that includes thousands of mattresses and blankets.

It is situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

Almost five million people visited Bali in 2016.

Officials announced the highest possible alert level on Friday due to the increasing volcanic activity and warned people to stay at least nine kilometres away from the crater.

Bali's tourist hotspots Kuta and Seminyak remain unaffected with flights still landing and departing.

Virgin Australia flights bound for Bali are taking on extra fuel in Darwin in case an eruption means they need to turn back, Australia's 9 News reported.

The Agung Volcano in Bali Island, which is most tourist area in country, was last to explode in 1963, when about 1,000 people lost ir lives in explosion.

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