JAKARTA (Dec 31): Mount Agung on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali erupted earlier yesterday (Sunday), spewing white clouds of smoke and ash into the air.
The volcano erupted for about three minutes at 4.09 am local time and has prompted the Indonesian Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) to upgrade the status to level three (standby), following the latest eruption.
Mount Agung is located in Karangasem, Bali, which is about 70km from the tourist hub of Kuta.
People have been directed to stay clear of the area and no activities should be carried out within the danger zone – 4km radius around the crater.
Meanwhile, Indonesian media reported that Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport was still operating as normal thus far.
In late June, dozens of flights were cancelled after Mount Agung erupted and shot a fresh plume of smoke and ash more than 1,000 metres into the sky.
Mount Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed scores of villages.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia said they were monitoring the latest developments and asked Malaysians living in Bali to adhere to the instructions given by the Indonesian authorities.