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Thousands evacuated near Bali volcano

BBC News logo BBC News 25-09-2017

A child eats noodles at a temporary evacuation center for people living near Mount Agung, a volcano on the highest alert level, inside a sports arena in Klungkung, on the resort island of Bali, Indonesia, 24 September 2017.: Thousands of Bali residents have been evacuated to town halls and schools

Thousands of Bali residents have been evacuated to town halls and schools
© Reuters

Nearly 35,000 people have been evacuated from their homes near an active volcano in Bali, as authorities warn it could erupt imminently.

The area around Mount Agung has seen hundreds of tremors and signs of magma rising to the surface in recent days.

Authorities have now imposed a 12km (7.5 miles) exclusion zone around the mountain and issued their highest level alert on Friday.

Thousands of evacuees have been moved to shelters in town halls and schools.

Indonesia's national volcanology centre said in a statement on Sunday that the mountain's "seismic energy is increasing and has the potential to erupt".

Officials began noticing heightened volcanic activity in August and have steadily stepped up evacuations.

Mount Agung, which is more than 3,000m above sea level, lies in the eastern part of Bali and is about 70km from the main tourist areas of Kuta and Seminyak, which remain unaffected for now. Flights in and out of Bali are operating normally.

More than 1,000 people died when Mount Agung last erupted in 1963.

It is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia - an archipelago prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes as it sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire".

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