Vehicles laden with food, masks and bedding have been dispatched to help more than 75,000 people who have fled a volcano on the tourist island of Bali, as rising magma and increased tremors fuel fears of an imminent eruption.
Mount Agung, about 75 kilometres (47 miles) from the Indonesian tourist hub of Kuta, has been rumbling since August, threatening to erupt for the first time since 1963.
“The chance that an eruption will happen is quite big. But it cannot be predicted when it will happen,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency, said.
The increased frequency of tremors shows the magma continuing to move towards the surface, with the mountain entering a “critical phase”, the spokesman said.
The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said there has been an increase in volcanic tremors, with a total of 564 recorded Monday.
The first chart below shows the energy created by these tremors, while the second shows the frequency of tremors, increasing dramatically since the start of September.
Evacuees have packed into temporary shelters or moved in with relatives. Some 2,000 cows have also been evacuated from the flanks of the volcano.
Balinese residents, international NGOs and the government have begun organising aid.
Vehicles filled with noodles, mineral water and blankets have been sent to the evacuation centres, while residents around the island have been collecting donations for those affected.
Bali’s “sister village” programme and tradition of communal assistance means evacuees have been able to stay in villages outside the danger zone.
Indonesia’s disaster agency said on Tuesday that more than 75,000 people have fled the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island of Bali because of fears of an eruption.
The agency’s spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said evacuees are spread across more than 370 locations on the island and their numbers are continuing to rise.
I Ketut Subandi, head of logistics at the village of Tana Ampo, said basic food items like rice, instant noodles, cooking oil and water were most needed.
“This morning we were worried because we had limited rice supply, but now we have…