Over 2,000 villagers evacuate from smoking Mount Agung, Bali volcano continues to erupt

Nearly 3,000 people have evacuated since Mount Agung came back to life last week. Photo: PMI Bali

An erupting Mount Agung has sent thousands of local Balinese villagers into evacuation.

As of Tuesday, 2,731 residents have fled their homes on the slope of the volcano and are displaced across 28 points of refuge in the Karangasem and Gianyar regencies, according to data from the government’s Mount Agung Disaster Emergency Response team.

“They are currently staying at 28 evacuation posts in the two regencies, 27 of which are in Karangasem and one in Gianyar,” an official from the emergency response team, Nengah, told Detik.

Aid is being given to the evacuees in the form of shelter and food—three meals a day, according to Nengah.

The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) is assisting in sourcing and distributing the food, he added.

After several months of near silence, the volcano spat up smoke on Thursday afternoon, triggering evacuations in the immediate area and a nearly 12-hour airport shutdown on Friday. Then, on Monday, in an awe-inspiring and fear-striking spectacle of an eruption, Mount Agung sent up bursts of a lava in what’s been referred to as a Strombolian Blast. The volcano has continued to erupt through Wednesday, with several eruptions recording in the morning.

The evacuees are villagers largely coming from Besakih and Temukus—a village on the edge of the four-kilometer danger zone that Coconuts Bali visited earlier this year. The villagers of Temukus are no strangers to refugee life, with many of them having spent the better part of a six-month period camped out in evacuation centers when Mount Agung started rumbling last year.

“The displaced people are from Banjar Temukus and Kesimpar Desa Besakih. However, there are also hundreds of evacuees from Selat who fled from Rendang,” coordinator of Rendang Village evacuation post UPTD, I Wayan Sudiarta, told Bali Post on Tuesday.

Before stirring back to life last year, Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing around 1,600 people.

Located in Karangasem, in eastern Bali, Mount Agung is about 75 kilometers from the tourist hub of Kuta.

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