Social activities in and around Bali’s Mount Agung volcano in Indonesia have been grounded as authorities have ordered the closure of the holiday island’s airport and told residents near the summit of the mountain to immediately evacuate.
The warning follows an “imminent” risk of a larger eruption as Indonesian authorities have raised the state of alert to its highest level as the evacuation zone around the volcano has been widened leaving thousands of tourists stranded.
According to the National Board for Disaster Management, the alert levels were raised because of “the possibility and imminent risk of disaster”.
The volcano was seen emitting “continuous ash puffs” occasionally accompanied by “explosive eruptions” and “weak booms” that could be heard 12km (7 miles) from the summit.
“The rays of fire are increasingly observed at night. This indicates the potential for a larger eruption is imminent,” it said in a statement (in Indonesian) on its Facebook page.
TV footage showed cold lava flows (lahar) at a number of locations on the mountainside. Lahar carrying mud and large boulders can destroy houses, bridges and roads in its path.
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