The alert level on Bali’s Mt. Agung volcano has been raised and trekkers are advised not to get too close to the crater.
The Karangasem Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) said on Thursday that the alert has gone up from normal (level 1) to vigilance (level 2) for Bali’s highest peak, which stands 3,142 meters above sea level.
Meanwhile,Karangasem BPBD chief Ida Bagus Ketut Arimbawa is appealing to trekkers to keep a “safe” distance of 2.5 kilometers from the volcano’s crater.
The warning follows the release of a video on Facebook showing Mt. Agung rumbling, that has now gone viral. Agung has apparently been rumbling like so for the past month, but trekkers had been summiting the volcano as usual up through Thursday.
Arimbawa said it’s no time for panic, but he does ask that residents and visitors remain vigilant. The volcano is under close monitoring for any changes in activity, he said.
Agung’s last eruption, which killed about 1,000 people, was in 1963. Agung’s activity history is not well known, but historical records of Agung eruptions first appear in 1808.
The volcano sits in Bali’s Karangasem regency, which is about 840 square kilometers, with a population of 408,000.
A circular publicizing the change in alert status will be going out to surrounding local communities, said Arimbawa.