Travel Warning: Bali in Immanent Danger of Volcanic Disaster
Ignore calls from the Indonesian Government pronouncing Bali as safe for tourists, it simply is not. The eruption alert was actually raised to the highest level on Friday following a “tremendous increase” in seismic activity. For context, from midnight to noon on Friday, a total of 198 tremors were recorded compared with the 300 that took place in the six-hour period overnight Sunday.
35,000 local people have fled a looming volcanic eruption on the island of Bali after some 300 tremors, increasing in both frequency and intensity, registered between midnight and 6am Sunday.
The Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency has set up temporary shelters for evacuees and provided 14 tons of aid including food, water, tents, blankets and mattresses.
“Four days after we raised the alert level to level three, there were extraordinary tremors … the biggest since 1963. So, we raised the alert level to level four,” the head of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), Kasbani, told News.com.au.
“We could not predict when the mountain will erupt,” he added. “However, we don’t know whether the eruption now will be bigger or smaller. If we see the eruption in 1963, it could take one year.”
The 1963 eruption killed 1,100 people with the ash cloud reaching an altitude of 20km (12 miles) and the lava flow extending 7.5km (4.7 miles) from the volcano, reports ABC News.
“We have prepared 500,000 masks to anticipate volcanic ash which is very important, because the ash is very dangerous,” the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head, Willem Rampangilei, told News.com.au.
“This is a very complex work. We should work hard to minimize victims. We keep hoping that the eruption will not happen. However, we should be ready for the best scenario if the eruption does happen,” he added. “We have declared that we are in emergency response period for next one month. I hope the eruption will not happen.”