Around 1,35,000 residents have left their homes on Indonesia’s Bali island fearing an impending volcanic eruption, Reuters reported on Friday. Those who have left have taken shelter in makeshift evacuation centres.
There have been tremors around Mount Agung since August, as the volcano on the tourist island is threatening to erupt for the first time in 50 years. It has also been spewing smoke. The last time it erupted in 1963, more than 1,000 people were killed.
The evacuations started last week after officials issued the highest level alert, meaning an eruption was imminent.
On September 26, Indonesia’s volcanology centre said it could be just a “matter of hours” before Mount Agung erupts, as the area is experiencing unprecedented levels of seismic activity.
Though only those within 12 km of the crater have been asked to leave, many more have fled because they are unsure of how far they are from it, the national disaster management agency said. The number of people who have left their homes is more than double the population of the likely affected region, AP reported.
Efforts are also on to move around 30,000 cattle away from the area around the volcano.