Three foreign nationals who attempted to climb Bali’s Mount Agung despite authorities’ warnings against doing so, were sent racing back down the slope as the active volcano started to erupt.
Raw footage, allegedly captured on Friday during the group’s ascent, shows the panicked climbers scrambling to save themselves as a large puff of black smoke appears at the summit.
Suara Arsana, a resident of a nearby village, verified that the footage was indeed captured on Bali’s highest peak. “I know exactly that area. It is the track to the peak of Mount Agung,” he said, as quoted by Kumparan.
The trio in question are believed to be Russian tourists staying at a hotel in Canggu, and had allegedly started their climb in the wee hours of Friday morning in order to avoid detection. Presumably the three must have made it down safely, though local reports are yet to clarify whether they will be reprimanded of fined for the violation.
The head of the Karangasem Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) Ida Bagus Arimbawa was disheartened to hear the news, insisting that his officers remained vigilant in their attempts to deter rogue climbers.
But this isn’t the first time a determined hiker has ignored warnings and attempted to scale the active volcano. Just last month, a Russian climber went missing overnight on Agung’s slopes, apparently unaware of the climbing restrictions.
In response to this latest breach, Arimbawa said his party would be installing warning signposts at a number of points on the paths towards the summit of Mount Agung.
According to the report by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Mitigation (PVMBG), Friday’s eruption occurred at around 4:30pm, lasting for a duration of 6 minutes and 20 seconds, and producing a 700-meter high ash column
Despite recent rumblings, Agung’s alert status remains at Level III, or “standby” status. Visitors, hikers, and residents are warned against entering the hazard zone, which stretches a four kilometer radius around the peak crater.