WORLD

Thousands Flee From Mount Agung Volcano In Bali, Travel Advice Unchanged As Eruption Fears Escalate

But travel advice for Australians has not changed.

25/09/2017 9:40 AM AEST | Updated 25/09/2017 9:40 AM AEST
Ulet Ifansasti via Getty Images
Mount Agung volcano last erupted in the 1960s, killing more than 1000 people.

DENPASAR (Reuters) -- More than 35,000 residents have been evacuated from villages near an active volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali, after officials said an eruption could be imminent.

Authorities warned tourists and residents to avoid camping or hiking within a 9km radius of Mount Agung's crater as seismic tremors rattled some areas and smoke rose above one of the world's most popular tourist spots.

But the threat level for Australians travelling to Bali has not changed despite fears for the volcano that killed more than 1000 people when it last erupted in the 1960s.

"An eruption of Mount Agung could impact air travel in the region," Smart Traveller said on Friday.

"Contact your airline or tour operator to confirm travel plans (see Additional information). The overall level of this advice has not changed."

Meanwhile Governor I Made Mangku Pastika pleaded with tourists not to visit the evacuation zones.

"Please don't get any closer. We are busy handling evacuees," he said according to ABC News.

"We don't want anything to happen to them."

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the National Disaster Management Agency earlier said: "There should be zero public activity within the specified radius in case there is an eruption.

"Volcanic activity remains high and there are indications of magma rising to the surface and causing tremors."

Getty Images
A man looks a map of the danger zones at the Mount Agung monitoring station in the Karangasem regency of Bali.

Flights at Bali's international airport are still operating as normal and there was little disruption to tourism operators across the rest of the island, authorities said.

Indonesia straddles the "Pacific Ring of Fire," where several tectonic plates meet and cause 90 percent of the world's seismic activity, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country.

A series of eruptions at Mount Agung between 1963 and 1964 killed more than 1,000 people and injured hundreds.

Getty Images
An elderly woman carries a baby in an evacuation centre for more than 35,000 villagers forced to flea nearby areas of Mount Agung.

(Reporting by Reuters stringer in DENPASAR and Kartika in JAKARTA; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Paul Tait and Gareth Jones)

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