natural disasters

‘Matter of hours’ before Bali volcano erupts, says Indonesian government

The area is experiencing unprecedented levels of seismic activity, the country’s volcanology centre said.

It could be just a “matter of hours” before Mount Agung in Bali erupts, as the area is experiencing unprecedented levels of seismic activity, Indonesia’s volcanology centre said, according to The Guardian.

More than 75,000 people were evacuated over the past few days as Agung has experienced hundreds of internal volcanic earthquakes. Data showed that Mount Agung had 844 volcanic earthquakes on Monday and around 400 by midday on Tuesday, Devy Kamil Syahbana, a seismologist from Indonesia’s centre for volcanology and geological hazard mitigation, said.

“We need to pay attention because these kinds of earthquakes indicate the movement of magma and increase the probability of an eruption,” he warned. According to the seismologist, the centre has never recorded such high energy from Mount Agung.

There have been tremors around the mountain since August, as the volcano on the tourist island threatens to erupt for the first time in 50 years. The last time it erupted in 1963, more than 1,000 people were killed.

Evacuation on, travel advisories issued

Indonesian authorities arranged makeshift shelters in town halls and school gymnasiums and set up tents in villages around the volcano to house thousands of evacuees. Vehicles loaded with noodles, mineral water and blankets have been sent to the evacuation centres, and residents around the island have been collecting donations, AFP reported.

Several countries, including Australia, Singapore and the United States, issued travel advisories alerting holidaymakers to the risk, Reuters reported.

Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes along the Pacific Ring of Fire – more than any other country in the world.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.