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  Bali volcano: Locals fail to evacuate amid warnings of Mt Agung eruption

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BerichtOnderwerp: Bali volcano: Locals fail to evacuate amid warnings of Mt Agung eruption   di 28 nov 2017 - 14:25

ABC NEWS, 28/11/21017

Tens of thousands of people living close to Bali's Mt Agung have so far failed to heed official warnings to come in to evacuation shelters.

Bali's evacuation shelters should be full 48 hours after authorities extended a no-go zone around the volcano.
Officials said up to 150,000 people should leave their homes in anticipation of stronger eruptions.

But the temporary shelters are holding nowhere near that number of people. The latest count had just over 30,000 people.

At the biggest camp in Klungkung, about 20 kilometres from Mt Agung, there are just over 1,000 people — a fraction of the number about eight weeks ago.

Some of its residents were here in September and then moved home — they returned in a rush earlier this week when Mt Agung began erupting.

Ketut Kembar, a farmer, said she was frightened when she came down the mountain from her village near Mt Agung after authorities raised the mountain's alert status to level four.

"I was panicked, I only have one motorbike and I have many family members [that needed evacuating]. I was panicking and confused," she said.

She said she was pleased that something appeared to be happening on Mt Agung.

"I feel relieved because what we have been waiting for has finally arrived, after this is over I don't have to be afraid to go home," she said.

Her family is making Hindu offerings to sell to others, and to try to bring a little luck for themselves.

"I ask God that whatever His desire is, it can happen quickly so we can have some relief," she said.

Construction worker Mayan Masta came to the camp with his wife and two boys.

It is his second stint — he also came in September and stayed for 40 days.

"Now, after seeing the eruption, I feel relieved, I hope it is quickly finished so I can go home," he said.

Passengers abandoning airport

At Klungkung, the evacuees cook the camp's food.

Nengah Runiasaih and her five-year-old daughter Melani were slicing tomatoes for the day's meals.

"She often helps," Nengah said, watching as Melani sliced through the vegetables."We feel sad — hopefully we can go home quick."

Mt Agung's eruptions are getting stronger, and vulcanologists say they are accompanied by strong earth tremors, indicating a bigger eruption is possible at any time.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, a 30-minute string of consistent tremors suggested something was brewing, and vulcanologists told non-essential staff and journalists to leave the volcano monitoring post at Rendang.

It is about 12 kilometres from the volcano.The ash cloud falling over Denpasar grows by the day — and so does the queue of airline passengers wanting to get off the island

.Some are abandoning the wait for the airport to re-open, and they are getting off Bali by bus and ferry to cities like Surabaya, where they will be able to catch flights to hubs like Jakarta or Singapore.


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