The Great Gunung Agung And The Displaced Balinese

January 19, 2018

Following the months of turmoil amongst the displaced Balinese who live within the impact zone on Mount Agung our reporter describes their ordeal and imminent issues surrounding the volcano, those impacted by the volcanic activities and how we might start to address them.

On December 20, the Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya announced a new level two status for all areas outside the impacted zones. With this lowered alert status, the tourism industry could start promoting Bali on a large scale with a budget of Rp.100 billion, according to the minister. He went on to state that in the last 36 days the losses due to the lack of tourists have been about Rp.9 trillion with the national level at Rp.15 trillion.

According to the Center for Volcanology of Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMPG), the only alert given out is for the impacted zones around the volcano and not “for the rest of Bali.” The radius they describe is for the initial impact zone for an explosive eruption. Obviously government officials have overlooked issues such as the secondary effects of ash fall, pyroclastic and lahar (a type of mudflow or debris) that only nature can determine.

President Jokowi visited south Bali the weekend of December 22, walking along Kuta Beach, where he was happily escorted by Balinese and his many admirers. He had his picture taken with citizens and foreign tourists before going to the popular eatery Made’s Warung in Seminyak. The President and his wife Iriana had visited an evacuee camp in Klungkung on September 26, located in the Swecapura Sports Centre. It is one of 162 evacuee camps in Klungkung housing more than 19,456 people.

However, there is an elephant on the island of Bali and no one seems to be addressing its inherent issues properly at the national or international level. Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla did in fact express concern over the condition of evacuees, especially the seniors who are immobile in camps and children who are unable to attend school. After initial aid was sent consisting of food supplies and other staples, little has been said of the immediate problem of the evacuees and conditions they are living under or what will happen when they are able to return to their villages, if at all.

President Joko Widodo along with Vice President Kalla chaired a limited cabinet meeting in Bali on December 22 to assure the world that travel to Bali was safe, along with its readiness to receive as many tourists as possible.

The evacuation started on September 15. That is a long time to be living in a makeshift camp away from normal, daily life. The evacuees are from some of the communities that make up the backbone of Balinese culture and we must ensure their survival. Yet the camps are forgotten as tourism is promoted. The real issues to contend with at this point are disaster mitigation and community restoration and rehabilitation. It appears there is more interest in bringing foreign tourism back than addressing the needs of the Indonesian people in Bali. Tourism should not control policy making.

Speaking with Enong Ismael, a community leader who has been visiting many different camps, he expressed concern for the impact upon the daily lives of the displaced: ”More than half of the evacuees are from remote villages and know nothing of modern life or city life. They live close to nature, grow rice and other crops, tend their cows and chickens and pigs, and have a deep cultural and traditional life which revolves around their home temple and community temples. When it is a good day, some go back to their village to tend their crops and animals. But now, so much time has passed that the crops are ruined and the livestock has had to be sold off for a tiny percentage of its value. After the first few weeks all the shops are closed and the villages are ghost towns. The debt collectors are going to the camps and collecting bikes and phones and even deeds to land as 90 days have gone by a while ago and people have no income. The full effects of the evacuation are not known but the longer it continues, the more aid will be required to build the communities that are evacuated, if the areas even survive a volcanic eruption. The scarecrow in the camps is the debt collector.”

More than 150,000 people are homeless and that number is growing as drivers and those dependent on tourism lose their income.

However, during this period of slow tourism other problems have become all too obvious. Bali had a month of regular traffic flow at the peak of the tourism glut. It was obvious that the normal traffic at that time is exactly what the infrastructure could hold. Now Bali is back to gridlock but most tourists are domestic. The rivers carry plastic and debris down to the beaches which despite daily cleanings, are still covered in garbage, especially plastics. Garbage piles can be seen in front of temples such as Tanah Lot.

Perhaps it is time to invest in a more diverse economy. Tourism creates massive amounts of money into an economy from a single industry, creating dependence on foreign interest as it contributes to an uneven distribution of wealth. There remains a need for access to education in income generating professions other than hospitality. Bali has a long history of creating wealth through their creative arts and crafts where, in this high tech global economy, it can flourish. However, education is needed in various sectors such as the medical and legal professions in addition to technology.

Local farming can generate more income by becoming more diverse and adhering to organic standards. Even animal husbandry, if done properly and organically, will bring more profit. All these things mean more knowledge must be made available and economic support is required. Education is also needed in disaster mitigation training and drills. The current plan is not sufficient. Bali is a disaster prone area with landslides every rainy season and storm damage, not just a highly active volcano sitting on the Ring of Fire.

Most importantly the communities now displaced must survive, and support is needed right now. The Mount Agung Relief group is a group of NGOs and individuals who are putting together a pilot project in Tembok; an independent evacuee center in Buleleng to create a self- reliant model for evacuees that allows them to support themselves and have activities in a semi-temporary camp they could build themselves. The National Body for Disaster Mitigation [BNPD] has already committed to supporting the prototype with the possibility that it will be presented to the President for further expansion.

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Agung’s eruption worse than Bali bombing, say hoteliers

December 16, 2017

Hoteliers in Bali say the impact of Mount Agung’s eruption is larger than the 2002 Bali bombing, and are crying for more efforts and a bigger promotional budget to recover business losses.

Anak Agung Yuniarta Putra, head of Bali Tourism Office (BTO), said: “When the Bali bombing took place, (Jakarta injected) a budget of 750 billion rupiah (US$56 million today or worth US$81 million in 2002) immediately. But nothing has been offered for Bali’s recovery yet.”

He stressed the need for the central government to continue promotions overseas to attract international travellers back to the island.

Haryadi Sukamdani, chairman of Indonesia Hotel & Restaurant Association (IHRA), told TTG Asia on the sidelines of the Visit Wonderful Indonesia 2018 launch recently that hotel occupancy post the airport closure was “alarming”.

“The impact is bigger than the Bali bombing. After the bombing, the recovery process could be done right after, while today we still do not know when the eruption is going to end. With travel warnings in place and insurance companies declining protection, it is not easy to convince travellers to come under such circumstances,” he lamented.

While Haryadi declined to mention the current occupancy of IHRA members in Bali, reports reveal that it is between 15 per cent and 25 per cent. This compares with an occupancy of around 80 per cent during the same period last year, according to BTO’s Putra.

In addition, the Indonesia National Air Carriers Association (INACA) was quoted by Kontan.co.id as saying that flights to Bali had declined by 30 per cent as the result of the eruption. INACA’s head of flight affairs, Bayu Sutanto, opined that the trend would continue up to early next year as long as the high alert status of the volcano remains.

Last week, Indonesia’s tourism minister Arief Yahya estimated that there has been a loss of around a million arrivals due to the eruption.

Arief said: “Following the closure of the airport, daily arrivals to Bali was between 3,000 and 9,000 passengers, while average arrivals (on a normal day) is 15,000. This means a loss of around 250 billion rupiah per day.”

The minister has urged for “domestic travellers to spend their holidays in Bali and companies to stage events on the island”.

However, Indonesia’s two major inbound tour operators Panorama Destination and Pacto claimed that the impact on their business was low as the eruption took place during the low season. Although it is now the December holiday season, it is not as big as the June-August peak season.

Marcel Schneider, managing director of Panorama Destination, said: “With the exception of some group cancellations from India, we have had few cancellations. The reason for that might be that the majority of our clients come from European source markets (and this is not the season for Europeans).

“There is never a good moment for this to happen as it will affect the livelihood of lots of people. But in the low season, consequences will hopefully be less severe,” he shared.

Ratty Ning, president director of Pacto, said: “We lost around nine billion rupiah due to the eruption and closure of the airport, (but) that is only about three to four per cent of our total business this year.”

Posted in: Mt Agung News

“I just watch the sky,” she says. “Watch the sky and pray.”

December 16, 2017

About 100,000 residents were evacuated in September when the ground shook and geophysicists predicted a major eruption – but many residents remain

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 December, 2017, 6:03am

Nathan Thompson

Ketut Suweni shovels gravel on the slopes of Mt Agung while the volcano spews ash clouds. For a second her sandal slips on the pile of black and grey stones and she stumbles onto her hands and knees.

“I keep an eye on the volcano while I work,” she said, wiping grime from her face. “The ash is quite light right now but if the sky turns dark I will leave.”

Trucks carrying sand and gravel, and a few locals on motorbikes, are the only traffic left in the danger zone around Mt Agung. Roughly 100,000 residents were evacuated in September when the ground shook and geophysicists predicted a major eruption. About 55,000 are living in dank, wet evacuation camps outside the 12km danger zone.

The volcano is in Bali – the Indonesian island home to 4 million and popular with tourists, although many are choosing to holiday elsewhere since the eruptions. Currently, hotels have 25 per cent occupancy compared to 80 per cent this month last year, according to the Malay Star.

However, miners like Suweni do not have a choice. They need the US$73 for each truck they fill – a fee they split. Suweni earns about US$15 a day. This gravel is used to build roads and in rock mixture to make bricks.

“We do not have a licence to mine here,” she says. “We have a partner who pays the police off.”

I keep an eye on the volcano while I work. The ash is quite light right now but if the sky turns dark I will leave

KETUT SUWENI, WORKER

About 70 per cent of the miners do not have permits, according to Wired magazine. It is cheaper to bribe the police than get a licence that requires the group to pay for land restoration once the project is complete.

Suweni works in sandals and thin, patterned clothes shovelling rocks. Above her, on a ridge cut from the mountain, men swing hunks of rock into grinding machinery.

They all dashed for safety on November 25 when a colossal ash cloud darkened the sky and cinders fell like rain. The volcanic ash clouds grounded flights in Bali and the nearby island of Lombok for several days, causing travel chaos. Magma glowed like a cigarette against the dark clouds but it did not spill. Within days, Suweni was swinging her shovel again.

“I’m very worried,” she says. “But we must earn money.”

At the main observatory in Rendang, Dr Gede Suantika, a geophysicist, expressed concern for the miners.

“They should leave for their own safety,” he said. “We have sirens set up around the volcano that may be able to warn them. But if the volcano releases hot clouds there may not be enough time for them to escape.”

Hot clouds, known as pyroclastic flows, are clouds of fast-moving volcanic matter. Most of the 1000-plus people who died during the last eruption in 1963 were killed trying to outrun hot clouds.

The state of alert remains at its highest level but Suantika said: “If the ash clouds remain small then we will consider reducing it in a couple of weeks.”

Not that Suweni would know. She says her group do not listen to the radio for updates and none of them have smartphones.

“We can only listen to the mountain,” she says. “If the earth shakes, we run.”

It is not easy for people to leave their livelihoods even if it is dangerous. Ketut Urianda has not seen a customer at his restaurant and guest house on the edge of the danger zone for a fortnight.

“People here struggle to earn a living,” says Urianda, a retired teacher. “Rice farming is unpredictable as the crops can fail and you can’t get a job in the tourism industry if you do not speak English.”

Balinese miners are part of a worldwide industry. Sand and gravel “account for the largest volume of solid material extracted globally,” according to a 2014 report from the United Nations Environment Programme. It is used in the multibillion-dollar construction industry and as countries start to ban sand exports, citing environmental damage, the value is likely to rise.

Suweni and several other women wait at a damp bus stop for their husbands or friends to take them home.

“Usually I live near here but now I’m staying with family further away from the volcano,” she says.

Her drive back to where she is staying goes through eerily deserted streets and past boarded up houses, speckled with grey ash.

“I just watch the sky,” she says. “Watch the sky and pray.”

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Miners ‘just watch the sky and pray’

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Filmmakers Visit Volcano-Ridden Indonesia and the Indigenous People Who Live Among Them

December 14, 2017

 

Filmmakers Justin Pelletier and Adam Maruniak of Brick Films have been hard at work over the last three months to produce this “volcano epic,” and it does not disappoint.

The Vancouver-based duo spent two months in Indonesia on a client project and somehow managed to fit this beautifully crafted production into their crazy schedule. Traveling to four of Indonesia’s astounding list of volcanoes over their two-month stay, they went with no fixers and befriended locals to help tell the story.

The most notable of their boots on the ground help is Nararya Nemo Narottama, a man whose family has roots at the foot of Mount Agung, an active volcano, and the highest point in Bali, Indonesia. While Pelletier and Maruniak were wrapping up production at Narottama’s family home, the call came to evacuate. Narottama’s voice can be heard narrating the piece throughout.

For all you gear heads out there, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that a majority of this thing was shot on a Panasonic GH4 coupled with a Glidecam for camera support. And the aerials? A humble GoPro Hero 5 flown on Gopro’s Karma drone.

Not only is the cinematography and storytelling top notch, but the score and accompanying sound design are also very impressive. Impressive enough that “Amongst Fire” has been short-listed for a few film festivals. Follow along with the Brick Films crew for those announcements! Great work gents!

All images used with the permission of Adam Maruniak.

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Bali volcano eruption latest update: Plume rises from Mount Agung

December 10, 2017

MOUNT Agung in Bali was seen coughing out more plumes of steam and volcanic gas this morning, as the volcano continues to teeter on the brink of eruption.

 By JOE TAMBINI 

White plumes of “medium intensity” could be seen rising up to 2,000 metres above the volcano’s crater this morning, as locals braced for another major eruption.

Nearly 67,000 residents have now been evacuated from Mount Agung’s danger zone, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Bali’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

Agung erupted twice late last month, firing volcanic ash thousands of metres into the air on November 25 and producing a series of dangerous mudflows known as lahars.

After a week of relative calm, the volcano was photographed puffing small plumes of volcanic ash yesterday, sparking fears that a third eruption could be imminent.

Earlier this week Heather Handley, a volcanologist at Sydney’s Macquarie University, explained that Mount Agung is “clearly still in an active phase”.

“At all volcanoes we can expect fluctuations in activity,” she told Associated Press. “This does not mean that the threat is over.”

Authorities have kept the Bali volcano‘s alert at it maximum level and a state of emergency on the island has been extended until at least December 10.

Despite experts warning that another violent eruption is likely, officials are keen to stress that areas outside Agung’s 8-10km evacuation zone are still safe for tourists.

Bali volcano steaming

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho / TWITTER. Bali volcano update: Mount Agung coughed steam up to 2,000 metres into the air this morning.

Bali volcano eruption latest update: Plume rises from Mount Agung

MOUNT Agung in Bali was seen coughing out more plumes of steam and volcanic gas this morning, as the volcano continues to teeter on the brink of eruption.

White plumes of “medium intensity” could be seen rising up to 2,000 metres above the volcano’s crater this morning, as locals braced for another major eruption.

Nearly 67,000 residents have now been evacuated from Mount Agung’s danger zone, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Bali’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

Agung erupted twice late last month, firing volcanic ash thousands of metres into the air on November 25 and producing a series of dangerous mudflows known as lahars.

After a week of relative calm, the volcano was photographed puffing small plumes of volcanic ash yesterday, sparking fears that a third eruption could be imminent.

Earlier this week Heather Handley, a volcanologist at Sydney’s Macquarie University, explained that Mount Agung is “clearly still in an active phase”.

“At all volcanoes we can expect fluctuations in activity,” she told Associated Press. “This does not mean that the threat is over.”

Authorities have kept the Bali volcano‘s alert at it maximum level and a state of emergency on the island has been extended until at least December 10.

Despite experts warning that another violent eruption is likely, officials are keen to stress that areas outside Agung’s 8-10km evacuation zone are still safe for tourists.

Bali volcano steamingSutopo Purwo Nugroho / TWITTER

Bali volcano update: Mount Agung coughed steam up to 2,000 metres into the air this morning

Sutopo tweeted this morning that Bali “remains more beautiful than any other tourist destination”.

Earlier this week it was reported that Bali has lost about £450 million worth of tourism trade due to the uncertainty surrounding Mount Agung.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has admitted that the holiday hotspot is likely to fall one million visitors short of its yearly target.

After Agung erupted last month, airlines were forced to cancel flights to and from Bali, leaving thousands of tourists stranded on the island.

Bali volcano eruptingGETTY

Bali volcano update: Mount Agung erupted twice in November

JetStar, AirAsia, and Virgin Australia have all since confirmed that flight schedules have returned to normal, though another eruption would almost certainly see planes grounded once more.

Volcanic eruptions are almost impossible to forecast accurately, so a good way for scientists to predict whether a volcano is about to erupt is to study its past activity.

Mount Agung last erupted nearly 55 years ago when a series of violent eruptions killed more than 1,100 people.

The eruptions started with a number of small ash bursts followed by lava flows and more explosive eruptions a month later.

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Bali volcano eruption latest update: Plume rises from Mount Agung

December 10, 2017
MOUNT Agung in Bali was seen coughing out more plumes of steam and volcanic gas this morning, as the volcano continues to teeter on the brink of eruption.
The images, which were taken at about 6pm local time (10am GMT), is an ominous sign for the locals who have been forced to flee their homes to escape the threat of another eruption.

Øystein L Andersen‏, a photographer and volcano enthusiast in Bali, said the plume “looks like it contains some ash”.

Posting the images on Twitter, he said: “Agung volcano just now, seems to have just released a small eruption plume.”

He later added: “Another photo of the small plume, that was observed at Agung this afternoon. The plume looks like it contained some ash.”

 

Bali volcano erupting

Øystein L Andersen / TWITTER

Bali volcano update: Mount Agung sent an ash plume into the sky earlier today

More than 62,000 locals have been evacuated from their homes inside Mount Agung’s evacuation zone following two eruptions late last month.

Agung blasted volcanic ash thousands of metres into the air on November 25 and has been producing dangerous mudflows known as lahars ever since.

Activity within the Bali volcano subsided last week, though experts warned that another more violent eruption is likely.

Heather Handley, a volcanologist at Sydney’s Macquarie University, explained earlier this week that Mount Agung is “clearly still in an active phase”.

Bali volcano update: Mount Agung erupting

Øystein L Andersen / TWITTER

Bali volcano news: Mount Agung has been erupting since late last month

“At all volcanoes we can expect fluctuations in activity,” she told Associated Press. “This does not mean that the threat is over.”

The plume looks like it contained some ash

Øystein L Andersen, Photographer in Bali

Bali officials have kept Mount Agung’s volcano alert at it maximum level and a state of emergency on the island has been extended until at least December 10.

These latest images will raise concerns that a third eruption could be imminent.

Volcanic eruptions are almost impossible to forecast accurately, so a good way for scientists to predict whether a volcano is about to erupt is to study its past activity.

Mount Agung last erupted nearly 55 years ago when a series of violent eruptions killed more than 1,100 people.

The eruptions started with a number of small ash bursts followed by lava flows and more explosive eruptions a month later.

Agung produced a series of deadly pyroclastic flows in 1963 and there are now fears that history could be about to repeat itself.

Nengah Tresni, who was 12 when Agung last exploded, told AP: “I’m sure there will be a big eruption. It is just a matter of time.”

Bali volcano erupting

Øystein L Andersen / TWITTER

Bali volcano update: Ash was seen rising about Mount Agung on Wednesday

She added: “In the old eruption many people did not expect it to be big because there were small eruptions for a long time and villagers just went to the temple to pray.”

While monitoring technologies have improved exponentially since the previous eruption, authorities are still struggling to persuade locals that they need to evacuate.

There are still tens of thousands of residents living in Agung’s danger zone who are adamant that they should stay in their villages and put their fate in the hands of the gods.

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Hello everyone from a very sad Bali.

December 1, 2017

Hello everyone from a very sad Bali. I have been here for 21 years and never have experienced the emotional pain like this before. Yes we had the bombs of 2002, ( the most tragic disaster ) and the flooding and landslides and all other things in between but this beats the lot.  With previous disasters we could do so much to help…but this time it is an unknown.  Having admired the beautiful countryside of Bali for so many years…how the local people reap their crops, the hard way, cutting rice by hand then threshing it, again by hand….to plowing the fields with yoked buffalo, using terraced land ( put in a hundred or more years ago by their ancestors ) as a water catchment for their crops. Every inch of those hillsides have been providing food for their families. Even the ducks enjoy it too.  It was awe inspiring to say the least.

Now we see cold lava flows flooding the villages and the rivers run black. Mount Agungs angry red glow can be seen for miles, and her rumblings felt across this beautiful island. The air is tainted with an acrid smoke and ash falls from the once blue skies onto food crops, houses and livestock. Speaking of livestock….the local people who are lucky enough to own a cow or two, treat them as one of the family…cutting bales of grass every day to feed them and bathing them in the crystal clear rivers. Those cows are the families investment, the same as we would put money in the bank…they are their future, albeit a meager one. A single cow here is worth over a thousand dollars. Many of them now have been sold for half their value just to “rescue” them from a roasting from hot lava. It’s a painful thought not just for the cows, but for the people. Cows here are a status symbol, if you have a cow…you are almost rich. Pigs also have more worth than just a meat meal…they are used for special ceremonies like Galungan and others.

The family homes are simple compared to Western homes….often made of hand made bricks ( another strenuous task ) with a thatched roof. Their ancestors built them with love so many years ago. Now they are threatened to be swallowed by Agungs magma. There are no insurance policies to fall back on with an idea of rebuilding…insurance here is beyond the reach of most people. Babies have been born in the homes and people have died in them for generations…now gone.

The evacuation camps, are just a temporary shelter, but how long is temporary we ask ourselves. Some people have been there for months already. They have few mattresses and have never owned a blanket. The Government have supplied some of these necessities together with rice and other staple foods. But, nobody brings the forest herbs and spices to flavor their food. They can’t get meat or fish as the local markets have largely come to an end and mostly it is too far away to buy supplies. Many more fortunate local people have helped in so many ways, sharing and caring beyond all expectations. So many NGO’s are working round the clock to find what is needed to make life more comfortable in the camps, but many of us are “working blind” as it’s not familiar ground for us. We are all doing our absolute best with whatever we can find. This will last for a very long time, so people may forget that we still need them to help us. Please we ask you all……do not forget even though you may think everything is being taken care of….how do you care for 150.000 evacuees for a long time, with the help of those who care. This is the biggest sharing trip of all time….give what you can please. Details for making a donation are on our web site front page at Balicrisiscare.org..even $5 will but two fish or a chicken…remember the feeding of the five thousand told to us when we were kids….we need that thought now.  With that I will leave you to think about how lucky you are and give a little to bring a smile of a sad face.  Gloria

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Mount Agung: Bali volcano activity prompts ‘red warning’

November 27, 2017

Airlines have been issued a “red warning” about the danger of volcanic ash in the skies close to Bali after Mount Agung emitted a thick plume of smoke reaching 4,000m (13,100 feet).

It is the second major emission from the Indonesian island volcano this week, and flights have been disrupted.

The red warning means an eruption is forecast to be imminent, with significant emission of ash likely.

Authorities have begun distributing masks in some areas as ash falls.

Bali is a major tourist destination, although the main resorts of Kuta and Seminyak are about 70km (43 miles) from the volcano.

The island’s main airport is for now operating normally, but some airlines have cancelled flights. Volcanic ash can damage plane engines.

Travellers to and from the region are being urged to contact their airline or travel agent to find out the status of their flight.

A woman uses an umbrella as she walks through ash from Mount Agung volcano in Bebandem Village, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia on Sunday. Photo supplied by Antara FotoImage copyright REUTERS
Ash from the eruption coated roads, cars and buildings near the volcano in the north-east of Bali and emergency officials said hundreds of thousands of masks had been distributed

The ash cloud is said to be moving eastward from Bali towards the island of Lombok, and the main international airport there has been closed entirely.

The information director of Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency tweeted that volcanic ash rain had fallen on the Lombok city of Mataram.

“Tourism in Bali is still safe, except in the danger (zone) around Mount Agung,” the agency said in a statement.

It told people within a 7.5km exclusion zone to “immediately evacuate” in an “orderly and calm manner”.

Magma – molten rock – has now been detected close to the volcano’s surface, said officials and volcanologists.

Passengers wait for flight information at Ngurah Rai airport in Bali ANTARA FOTO/WIRA SURYANTALA VIA REUTERS
Passengers waiting at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport on Saturday

About 25,000 people are thought to still be in temporary shelters after more than 140,000 people fled earlier this year. Increased volcanic activity had prompted fears a major eruption was imminent.

Most of the islanders outside the immediate exclusion zone were ordered to return home at the end of September, and the mountain has been intermittently rumbling since.

Media captionEvacuees from near Mount Agung brought their birds, chickens and dogs with them in September

According to official estimates, the holiday island lost at least $110m (£83m) in tourism and productivity during the major evacuation.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

It is home to more than 130 active volcanoes. The last time Mount Agung erupted, in 1963, more than 1,000 people died.

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Urgent request.

November 27, 2017

Dear All..I have been trying everywhere to find plastic shower curtains to hang up on evacuation center “walls” where there are no walls….If anyone has old ones they don’t need could they please try to post them to us…with the plastic rings please. They can actually be bought in “dollar stores” all over Australia. The villagers need them to keep rain off them while they wait for more suitable camps to be available.It is cold and very wet in some camps..like in the mountains of Bedugul in mid Bali. Evacuees have been camping there for weeks and from what I could see, they need to keep the weather off them. I have bought blankets and rain jackets but please can well wishers send plastic shower curtains…it would help so much. The problem is about the post..I’m not sure how that is going as there are no planes coming in at present….but please can you try….Address is  Mama Gloria Crisis Care Clinic, Dusun Asah, Kaliasem, Lovina Bali Indonesia.81152…I have tried to buy “on line” but they are far too expensive for us…..cheap ones would be good please. We are working hard to help out but the pelting rain is difficult to deal with as it brings the ash down with it..Tomorrow I will try to source umbrellas….they should help with the dirty ash that is covering everything…Please help us to help these sad and scared villagers….

Posted in: Mt Agung News

Ash Fills The Sky As Bali’s Mount Agung Erupts

November 27, 2017

Ash pours from Mount Agung during an eruption on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Sunday.

Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP/Getty Images

Clouds of ash filled the air around Bali’s Mount Agung after the volcano erupted on Saturday and multiple times on Sunday.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority said dark gray clouds reached heights of more than 13,000 feet in the air around the volcano, located in the east of the Indonesian island.

“Bali is safe just keep away from disaster prone areas,” the agency wrote on Twitter.

The government agency warned people within about 4 miles of the volcano to leave. It said ash as thick as half a centimeter was reported in several nearby villages, The Associated Press says, while soldiers and police handed out masks.

“The activity of Mount Agung has entered the magmatic eruption phase, it is still spewing ash at the moment, but we need to monitor and be cautious over the possibility of a strong, explosive eruption,” volconologist Gede Suantika told Reuters. Suantika said the volcano could continue releasing ash for a month but he did not expect a major eruption, according to the AP.

Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation issued their highest “red” flight warning, as several flights were canceled on Saturday.

On Sunday, airport authorities told the AP that flights in the area were back to normal.

Mount Agung, which reaches nearly 10,000 feet into the sky and is the highest point in Bali, erupted on Tuesday as well.

About 1,100 people died in the volcano’s last major eruption in 1963. In September,more than 140,000 people evacuated following shallow volcanic earthquakes, the wire service says, before the alert was lowered at the end of October. Indonesia has more than 120 active volcanoes.

Bali is a popular destination for tourists, with close to 5 million visitors in 2016, according to the tourism office.

Posted in: Mt Agung News

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