Panic at Besakih Temple ceremony as Agung roars and erupts again

Mount Agung eruption, 4/4/2019. Photo via @denpasar.viral
Mount Agung eruption, 4/4/2019. Photo via @denpasar.viral

Bali’s Mount Agung erupted once again in the wee hours of this morning, emitting a characteristic roar that sent those praying at Besakih Temple, which is located on the slopes of the volcano, scurrying.

Raw footage posted on @denpasar.viral shows Balinese Hindus dressed in ceremonial whites scampering downwards in the darkness.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvzZ5W3nv2r/

The eruption occurred at 1:30am, yet despite the late hour some Balinese Hindus were apparently still busy praying as part of the Panca Wali Krama, a rare series of ceremonies that has been going on at Besakih Temple for several weeks now.

A local source told Coconuts Bali that they were likely engaged in something called ‘mekemit,’ a practice where strong believers guard the temple, praying and sleeping there intermittently until sunrise.

Posted on @denpasar.viral, a video recorded from Agung’s observation post captures lava spurting from the volcano’s crater.

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BREAKING NEWS! GUNUG AGUNG KEMBALI MENGALAMI ERUPSI KAMIS DINI HARI #dpsviral @denpasar.viral . Telah terjadi erupsi G. Agung, Bali pada tanggal 04 April 2019 pukul 01:31 WITA dengan tinggi kolom abu teramati ± 2.000 m di atas puncak (± 5.142 m di atas permukaan laut). Kolom abu teramati berwarna kelabu dengan intensitas tebal condong ke arah barat. Erupsi ini terekam di seismogram dengan amplitudo maksimum 25 mm dan durasi ± 3 menit 37 detik . Gemuruh erupsi terdengar sampai Pos Rendang . Saat ini G. Agung berada pada Status Level III (Siaga) . dengan rekomendasi: (1) Masyarakat di sekitar G. Agung dan pendaki/pengunjung/wisatawan agar tidak berada, tidak melakukan pendakian dan tidak melakukan aktivitas apapun di Zona Perkiraan Bahaya yaitu di seluruh area di dalam radius 4 km dari Kawah Puncak G. Agung. Zona Perkiraan Bahaya sifatnya dinamis dan terus dievaluasi dan dapat diubah sewaktu-waktu mengikuti perkembangan data pengamatan G. Agung yang paling aktual/terbaru. . (2) Masyarakat yang bermukim dan beraktivitas di sekitar aliran-aliran sungai yang berhulu di Gunung Agung agar mewaspadai potensi ancaman bahaya sekunder berupa aliran lahar hujan yang dapat terjadi terutama pada musim hujan dan jika material erupsi masih terpapar di area puncak. Area landaan aliran lahar hujan mengikuti aliran-aliran sungai yang berhulu di Gunung Agung. . SUMBER DATA KESDM, Badan Geologi, PVMBG Pos Pengamatan Gunungapi Agung https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/ . Info dari @gunungapi_agung #denpasarviral #dpsviralterkini #gunungagung #karangasem #bali

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According to the official report by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Mitigation (PVMBG), the eruption lasted for a duration of three minutes and 37 seconds, and was accompanied by an ash column that rose 2,000 meters above the peak.

Following the eruption, Besakih Temple and the surrounding areas to the west and southwest were hit by ash rain.

Bali’s Board for Disaster Management (BPBD) said Agung’s latest flare-up was still relatively small, and as such the community should remain calm.

“People outside the four-kilometer radius can still move around as usual,” a BPBD representative told Kumparan.

Despite fairly regular small-scale eruptions, Mount Agung’s alert status remains at Level III (standby) and Bali’s airport remains open.


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