- Mount Agung has been on the brink of eruption for a month
- State of emergency in Bali was extended to October 26
- Seismic activity around the volcano has spiked in recent days
- 186,000 people have been evacuated according to Bali’s Governor
Bringing you the latest news, live updates, seismic graphs, maps and warnings on the Bali volcano Mount Agung. (All times BST)
8.45pm: Volcanologist warns that Mount Agung could erupt at any time
Heather Handley, Associate Professor in Volcanology and Geochemistry at Macquarie University warns that Mount Agung could literally erupt at anytime.
Ms Handley wrote in The Conversation: “The current volcanic activity – mainly the number of earthquakes – has not subsided since the alert level was raised to level 4.
“It continues to fluctuate at high levels, with more than 600 earthquakes a day. This indicates that the threat of an eruption is still high, despite a general decline in overall seismic energy.”
7.40pm: Could the Bali volcano eruption be detected from space?
As Mount Agung threatens to cover the island of Bali in lava and ash, researchers are considering new methods of detecting imminent volcano eruptions.
Simon Carn, a volcanologist at Michigan Technological University, published a series of papers on the possible detection of eruptions from space.
A paper co-authored by Mr Carn, outlines satellite measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide, giving hope that orbital equipment could be used to locate sources of CO2 in the atmosphere.
“This is a demonstration that the technique does work, but we need better sensors before it becomes a routine monitoring tool, especially for volcanoes where we expect rapid changes in gas emissions,” Mr Carn said.
“If we could measure volcanic carbon dioxide from space routinely, it would be a very powerful addition to the techniques we use. That kind of observation would be useful (for Agung) right now.”
5pm: Sebastian Kettley takes over live reporting from Joe Tambini
Mount Agung: Volcanologists are looking into methods of measuring volcano emissions from space
2.49pm: IMF ‘monitoring’ Bali volcano
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is following Mount Agung’s developments closely ahead of a possible volcanic eruption, according to Indonesia’s Finance Minister.
Bali is due to host a meeting between the IMF and World Bank (WB) in October 2018, but Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the event will only be able to go ahead if Agung’s risks can be “controlled”.
She stressed that safety is her main priority and that any changes will be discussed with the IMF and WB ahead of time.
10.40am: White steam seen rising from Bali volcano
Shocking images coming out of Bali show Mount Agung spewing white steam.
Bali’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said plumes were observed rising 200m above Agung’s north and northeast slopes this morning.
Øystein L. Andersen, a volcano enthusiast living in Indonesia, tweeted: “Steam-plume is also visible today. Looks quiet up there, but seismicity under the volcano is still high.”
Bali volcano update: Mount Agung has been seen releasing white steam
7am: Bali officials encourage tourism despite Mount Agung threat
Bali’s Tourism Hospitality Taskforce has encouraged tourists to travel to the island, stressing that the region of Karangasem is the only area expected to be impacted by an eruption.
“Local authorities have assessed that the main tourist areas of Kuta, Legian, and Nusa Dua, at present, do not face serious danger of any immediate impact in the event of an eruption,” a statement read.
The UK Government has urged Brits in Bali to follow the advice of Bali authorities.
“You should monitor local media reports, follow the advice of the local authorities and stay outside the exclusion zone which extends between 9 and 12 kms from the crater,” the Government’s travel advice website says.
“If there is an eruption, volcanic ash clouds could result in airport closures and flight disruption in the region.
“In the event of volcanic ash clouds you should confirm your travel arrangements directly with your airline or travel agent before travelling to the airport.”
Bali volcano: Mount Agung seismic graph
7.20pm: Mount Agung seismic energy decreasing
Seismic energy around Mount Agung is continuing to decline, an official has said.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), tweeted a graph showing the change.
He wrote: “Mount Agung seismic energy continues to decline. The highest energy was September 22, 2017, when raised to Alert 4. After that it was downhill.”
5.00pm: Mount Sinabung spews ash
Mount Sinabung in Karo, Indonesia has been pictured spewing thick white smoke into the air.
The volcano began erupting in 2010 after lying formant for four centuries and has since regularly thrown hot ash into the sky.
Last year seven people were killed in a particularly violent eruption.
Reiss Smith taking over live reporting from Joe Tambini
Mount Sinabung spewed thick smoke into the air
3.02pm: Volcano sirens on standby in case Mount Agung erupt
Six warning sirens are ready to sound out in the event that Mount Agung erupts, according to the head of Bali Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD).
The sirens have been erected in the so-called ‘yellow zone’, just outside the 7.5 mile evacuation zone.
BPBD head Dewa Made Indra revealed they are each capable of projecting sound around a 2km radius, giving locals time to escape.
2.49pm: State of emergency extended again
The Bali Government has extended the state of emergency on the island for the second time as seismic activity underneath Mount Agung increases.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika first imposed the state of emergency on September 29 with plans to remove it on October 12.
The end date was then pushed back to October 16 and has since been extended further to October 26.
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1.45pm: Mount Agung hit by 788 earthquakes in a day
Mount Agung was hit by 788 earthquakes yesterday. Of these, 270 were shallow quakes, 474 were deep quakes and 44 were local tectonic tremors.
Fears of an eruption escalated over the weekend, when Agung was rocked by a magnitude 4.6 earthquake – the most powerful since the volcano alert was raised to the maximum level on September 22.
There has been a dangerous increase in seismic activity in recent weeks, indicating that magma is moving upwards.
Bali volcano graph: Seismic activity under Mount Agung has spikes in recent weeks
12.22pm: Eruption is ‘more likely than not’
The consensus among volcanologists is that an eruption could still happen at any time.
Dr Janine Kripper, who has been monitoring Mount Agung closely for weeks, said an eruption is still “more likely than not”.
But she stressed that volcanic eruptions are notoriously difficult to predict. “There are too many unknowns, even with the best technology,” she said.
12pm: The wait continues for evacuees
More than 180,000 Balinese locals have abandoned their homes to escape the threat of eruption, according to Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika.
Official estimates suggest no more than 150,000 people have moved to evacuation camps, while thousands of others are staying with friends or family elsewhere on the island.
Mr Pastika said: “Of the 28 villages [inside the evacuation zone], the number of evacuees should be 185,865 people coming from 54,788 families.
“But I estimate that there are 30,000 or more who evacuated to their family’s homes.”
Mount Agung news: The Bali volcano has been threatening to erupt for four weeks
11.30am: Bali Governor claims there will be ‘no deaths’
Mount Agung has not erupted since 1963, when a series of explosions killed more than 1,100 people and injured about 300 more.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika believes Bali’s swift evacuation process this time around means there will be no deaths if Agung erupts again.
“If something happened, even if an eruption happened today, I guarantee there will be no victims,” he said.
Initial reporting by Joe Tambini
Source : EXPRESS