Pair of Australian tourists climbed Mount Agung, claiming they weren’t aware of exclusion zone

A view of Bali’s Mt. Agung from Mt. Rinjani in Lombok. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A view of Bali’s Mt. Agung from Mt. Rinjani in Lombok. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A pair of Australian tourists were pulled in for questioning after they thought it would be a good idea to hike up Bali’s rumbling and smoking volcano, Mount Agung, which happens to on the highest alert level for an eruption.

The Australians, identified in a report by ABC’s Adam Harvey, were named as Ricky Tonacia, 34, and Jack Dennard, 26.

The pair hiked up at 2am on Thursday—apparently so they could make in time for sunrise—and was stopped eight hours later on their way down the mountain for questioning by Indonesian police.

The police chief from Selat told reporters that he had gotten a report that two foreign tourists were hiking Mount Agung.

“We went to the gate at border of the no-climbing danger zone, and we met two guides who were waiting for them to come back down from the top,” ABC quoted the police chief as saying.

“The local military chief and I and some volunteers waited for them to come back and when they came back we secured them afterwards at Selat Police Office, to get their statements.”

Mount Agung has been in an eruptive phase since November and the volcano’s exclusion zone of eight to 10 kilometers from the crater was very well publicized in Bali and was no secret.

While the exclusion zone was lessened to a six kilometer radius just on Thursday, hikers and the public in general are not allowed to enter that radius because the threat persists for another eruption. 

Tonacia and Dennard were eventually allowed to go and sent back to their accommodation in Canggu after the questioning.

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