09/22/2017, 14.27
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Bali: Mount Agung’s “imminent eruption” leads to the evacuation of residents and tourists

by Mathias Hariyadi

Level 3 warning is sounded as volcanic activity grows. On Tuesday alone, 427 tremors were recorded. The last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people.  The islands most important Hindu temple, Pura Besakih, is located on the volcano’s slopes.

Denpasar (AsiaNews) – Indonesian authorities have evacuated 1,259 people from Karangasem, fearing the imminent eruption of Mount Agung (pictured 2), Bali’s highest peak, in accordance with the existing emergency plan.

Government agencies have also urged residents and tourists to avoid any activity near the volcano and all areas within a six-kilometre radius of its peak.

On Tuesday, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) raised the alert warning for Mount Agung to Level (siaga) Three as a result of increased volcanic activity. On the same day, it reported 427 tremors.

"The epicentre of the quake is located only two kilometres from the surface and the depth of the magma is only five kilometres; hence, all people must stay alert,” said an observation post official.

Mount Agung, which stands at 3,142 metres from sea level, is one of Bali’s main attractions. It is locally known as Gunung Agung, and believed to be a replica of Mount Meru, the central axis of the universe.

One legend holds that the volcano is a fragment of Meru brought to the island by the first Hindus.

The most important Hindu temple on Bali, Pura Besakih (pictured 3 and 4), is located high on the slopes of Gunung Agung.

The volcano last erupted in 1963 when a pyroclastic flow released from its crater damaged several nearby villages and killed about 1,100 people.

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