People look at Mount Agung in Karangasem on the Indonesian resort island of Bali
People look at Mount Agung in Karangasem on the Indonesian resort island of Bali

Bali volcano: Island prepares for major volcanic eruption as Indonesia issues highest alert level

Australian airline sending planes with extra fuel in case they need to return to base

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Tuesday 26 September 2017 08:49

Mount Agung, an active volcano in north-east Bali, is showing increased seismic activity as travellers and local people prepare for a possible eruption.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority has raised the volcanic warning level for Mount Agung from "Alert" to "Warning". The exclusion zone extends between 9km and 12 km from the crater. When it last erupted in 1963-4, nearly 2,000 people died.

The authority advises those in the location to “Make sure you are at a shelters or another safe place from the effects of the eruption”, and to use a mask and safety glasses. It warns of “the potential secondary hazard in the form of cold lava flood”.

Up to 50,000 islanders have been moved from the area around the volcano as a precaution.

The Bali Tourism Board said: “Basic needs such as food and water are flowing in from all around Bali with volunteers supporting the distribution process.”

It says ferries to and from the neighbouring islands of Lombok and Java are running normally, as are flights at Denpasar airport.

But airline schedules are being affected already, with Virgin Australia saying: “As a precautionary measure, some of our Bali bound flights will be making fuel stops in Darwin.

“This ensures that if an eruption occurs while the aircraft is en route, we will be able to get guests back to their originating port safely and quickly.”

The Australian government is warning its citizens: “Local authorities have temporarily suspended all outdoor activities such as hiking and camping activities in proximity to the crater.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments