Bali’s Mount Agung volcano threatens to erupt

Just in case the world wasn’t getting bashed enough by natural disasters at the moment, here’s this: Bali’s Governor has urged locals to remain calm amid growing fears a fairly hefty volcano on the island is on the verge of an eruption event.

An exclusion zone has now been put in place 7.5 km from the volcano’s crater, as well as an emergency period enacted for the next 14 days, after authorities issued a level 3 alert.

The alert has raised concerns for Australians heading to Bali for the school holidays, which start this Saturday in Western Australia.

The volcano is around 70 kilometres from the popular tourist destination of Kuta.

The last serious eruption occurred in 1963 and killed over 1,000 people.

Seismic activity at the volcano has continued to increase, and the alert noted that there have already been 50-meter (or 164-foot) blasts from the base of the crater.

“Volcanoic ash is a really big problem for airlines because if that ash gets into engines, it can shut them down and there has been occurrences where aircraft have lost all their engines after flying through volcanic ash and that’s why they take a really cautious approach”, he said.

The alert level would be raised to 4, or unsafe, if it became clear an eruption was imminent.

Bali’s Governor tried to reassure anxious locals that all measures were in place to cope with an eruption, and locals will be helped to store motorbikes, cars and even livestock to reduce losses.

“We are prepared, I believe we can handle everything”.

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