Agung, which dominates the landscape in the island’s northeast, last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,100 people. It remained active for about a year. Volcanologists say another eruption is more likely than not, but can’t say when it will happen.
BALI, Indonesia (AP) — More than 130,000 people have fled the region around the Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing it will soon erupt.
The disaster mitigation agency’s command post in Bali said the number of evacuees has swelled to about 134,200 by Thursday evening. That’s more than double the estimated population within the immediate danger zone, but people farther from the mountain are leaving too.
Those who have fled are scattered in more than 500 locations across the island famed for its beaches, lush green interior and elegant Hindu culture, taking shelter in temporary camps, sports centers and other public buildings.
The volcano has been at its highest alert level for a week, sparking the exodus. Thousands of cows were left behind in the rural communities where farming is an important livelihood, but local animal husbandry officials were arranging trucks to remove them.
The exclusion zone around the mountain extends as far as 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the crater in places. The local observatory reported a small plume most likely of water vapor after daybreak Friday, but no ash cloud.
“I was very worried about the situation” said Nyoman Suarta, who was leaving a village a few kilometers outside the official no-go radius. “So I decided to get out to save myself with my stuff and my pet,” he said, carrying a cage housing a bird.
Agung, which dominates the landscape in the northeast of the island, last erupted in 1963, killing…