Mount Agung erupts for second time in 2018, flights remain unaffected

Mount Agung erupting, as seen on Jan. 15, 2018. Stills via Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB
Mount Agung erupting, as seen on Jan. 15, 2018. Stills via Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB

Mount Agung erupted again on Monday morning, making for the Bali volcano’s second eruption of 2018.

Ash from the eruption headed east, away from the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, which lies southwest of the volcano–so flights currently remain unaffected.

Monday’s eruption was recorded at 7:23am. Agung sent up a tower of gray-colored smoke, 2,000 meters up into the sky.

“A cloud of smoke went northeast. So areas like Kubu are exposed to volcanic ash,” said Devy Kamil, senior volcanologist at Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG).

Six hours before the eruption, there was a shallow volcanic earthquake, he added.

The alert for Mount Agung is still at the highest level (IV), “danger”, where it’s been since Nov. 27.

The alert level refers to the danger in the exclusion zone, which is set at a radius of six kilometers from Agung’s crater. The rest of Bali is still safe, according to PVMBG.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), acknowledged that volcanic activity is still high, characterized by seismicity and continuous tremors.

“The alert status (level IV) has the recommendation that the hazardous area is within a six kilometer radius from the summit crater,” Nugroho said, as quoted by Republika.

“There should be no community activities of any kind within a six-kilometer radius,” he cautioned on Monday.

Before erupting on Monday, Mount Agung experienced another minor eruption on Jan. 11. The volcano sent a tower of smoke up 2,500 meters up from the crater and ash fall was experienced in surrounding villages, but the eruption had no other significant impact.

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