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  Several villages hit by volcanic ash after Mt. Agung erupts in Bali

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BerichtOnderwerp: Several villages hit by volcanic ash after Mt. Agung erupts in Bali   wo 22 nov 2017 - 6:24

The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali, Wed, November 22, 2017

Volcanic ash has fallen onto a number of villages surrounding Mount Agung in Bali following an eruption at the island's tallest volcano on Tuesday afternoon, less than a month after the alert level was lowered.

At least five villages were affected by the ash, including Pidpid, Nawakerti, Bukit Galah, Sebudi and Abang Village. The villages are located within the danger zone of the volcano, reported.

Authorities from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) visited the villages following reports from local residents' to authorities at the Mount Agung monitoring station.

"The PVMBG Emergency Response Team found [volcanic] ash, however, the intensity of the ash [falling on the villages] is still light," head of mitigation sub-directorate at PVMBG, Devi Kemal, said on Tuesday evening.

Devi further advised residents not to panic and follow the authorities instructions. "Everyone should remain calm and follow PVMBG recommendations," Devi said.

Mount Agung, which has been experiencing increased activity in recent months, erupted and spewed black smoke at 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday, with the height of the smoke reaching more than 700 meters from the peak of the mountain.

Residents are advised to stay away from areas within a 6 kilometer radius of the volcano. The volcano's status is set at the third highest alert level, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has previously said.

The alert level for the volcano that had forced more than 100,000 residents to flee was lowered late last month, from the highest level to the third highest level, although authorities said there was still a chance of eruption

Bali airport not disrupted by Mt. Agung eruption

The volcanic ash cloud spewed by Mount Agung on the resort island of Bali on Tuesday afternoon has not yet disrupted the operation of Ngurah Rai International Airport.

“Airport operation remains normal. Visual monitoring by pilots is underway. The wind is heading east and southeast. It’s not heading to the airport,” the airport’s spokesman, Arie Ahsanuurohim, said on Tuesday.

Mt. Agung, which has been rumbling in recent months, spewed black smoke at 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

“Residents are advised to remain calm. Do not panic. Stay away from areas within a 6 to 7.5-kilometer radius of the volcano,” he said on his Twitter account.

But people living near the volcano said they did not see any signs that Mt. Agung had erupted.

“I am sure it has not erupted. We saw the mountain this afternoon. All of us saw it. It was not an eruption. There was no earthquake. We did not feel any earthquake," said Besakih customary village chief, Jero Mangku Widiartha.

About 50 percent of Besakih Customary Village area is located in the exclusion area of 7.5 km from the mountain. The remaining area was declared safe when authorities downgraded the alert status of Mt. Agung from the fourth level to the third level in October.


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Several villages hit by volcanic ash after Mt. Agung erupts in Bali
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