Emergency status for Bali’s Mount Agung extended again, threat of volcanic eruption persists

Villagers rest after being evacuated during the raised alert levels for the volcano on Mount Agung in Klungkung regency on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on September 22, 2017. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP
Villagers rest after being evacuated during the raised alert levels for the volcano on Mount Agung in Klungkung regency on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on September 22, 2017. Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP

The emergency status for Bali’s rumbling and smoking volcano has been extended another two weeks, until Oct. 26 as Mount Agung remains on the highest alert level.

This is the third time the emergency status has been extended by the Center for Volcanology and Disaster Hazard Mitigation (PVMB), reports Antara Bali.

Mount Agung has been on level IV, the highest alert level for a volcanic eruption since Sept. 22 and just because it hasn’t blown yet, does not mean it will get downgraded any time soon. Hundreds of volcanic tremors have been recorded daily at the volcano.

The island province’s state of emergency will stay in place as long as Agung continues to be at the highest alert level for an eruption to better enable Bali to meet the needs of evacuees, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Chief Willem Rampangilei said on Saturday.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika previously declared a state of emergency in Bali to run from Sept. 29 to Oct.12 to handle the thousands of evacuees who have fled from their homes located in the volcano’s danger zone of nine to 12 kilometers from the crater.

It’s estimated that about 139,199 evacuees have taken refuge at government-run shelters and tens of thousands have additionally fled to stay with family members and friends at other parts of the island.

Some evacuees have even returned home to take care of their livestock and their land, even though it’s technically prohibited to enter the exclusion zone.

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