Posted by on January 12, 2018

Mount Agung erupting on Jan. 11, 2018. Photo via Sutopo Purwo Nguroho/BNPB

Bali’s Mount Agung erupted again on Thursday afternoon, but the island remains safe and the airport is still operating normally.

The volcano spat out a column of gray smoke 2,500 meters into the air at 5:54pm, with a quake duration of 130 seconds. Smoke headed northeast, so in the opposite direction of Bali I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

While volcanic activity of Mount Agung has been fluctuating over the past several weeks, it persists at a high level at the moment with contiuous tremors. Deep volcanic and tectonic earthquakes are still being detected by the observation post in Rendang, Karangasem of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG).

Although the alert for the volcano is still on the highest level, where it’s been since Nov. 27, Indonesian volcanologists want to make it clear that that’s only referring to the exclusion zone, which is set at a six kilometer radius from Agung’s crater.

“The status is still ‘danger’ (level IV). The dangerous area is only within a radius of six kilometers from the top of the crater. Outside the six kilometer radius, the condition is safe and normal,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said in a statement released on Thursday following the eruption.

According to Sutopo, ash fall is estimated to land in some areas north and northeast of Agung and the distance of the ash fall from the volcano won’t be so great, because the column was only 2,500 meters.

“The information from Pasebaya is that volcanic ash rain has occurred in Tulamben, Rubaya, and Dukuh Kubu. Community activities are normal. There is no reason to panic in the community,” he said, as quoted by Detik.

Pasebaya is a community made up of leaders from 28 local villages focusing on Mount Agung mitigation activities

While figures estimating the amount of evacuees seem to be inconsistent at times, Sutopo estimates that as many as 53,207 people are still displaced from the volcano, spread out over 233 refuge points.

“Meanwhile, the condition of I Gust Ngurah Rai International Airport remains safe and normal. Volcanic ash from Mount Agung’s eruption does not spread until Denpasar,” he explained.

“Do not climb up, let alone be at the top of the crater because it is very dangerous.

“Besides in the radius of six kilometers, the condition of (Bali) is still safe and normal,” he emphasized.

Re-posted by Pande