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Indonesia's Mount Agung erupts, flights cancelled

Mount Agung in Karangasem district, Bali, erupted again on Friday (May 24) at 7.23pm, spewing incandescent lava in all directions for as far as 2.5 to three kilometres.

Indonesia's Mount Agung erupts, flights cancelled

The Mount Agung volcano spews smoke, as seen from Nusu village, in Karangasem Regency on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on Jul 29, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka)

DENPASAR: Mount Agung in Karangasem district, Bali, erupted again on Friday (May 24) at 7.23pm, spewing incandescent lava in all directions for as far as 2.5 to three kilometres.

"Yes, there has been an eruption. The height of the ash column was not reported; however, there was a roaring noise at the observation post," said I Made Rentin, head of the Bali Provincial Disaster Management Agency, on Friday night.

The eruption was recorded on a seismograph with a maximum amplitude of 30mm and a duration of some four minutes and 30 seconds. Even though Mount Agung erupted again, it is still at Level III (Standby) status.

The eruption, which occurred at 7.23pm, affected several areas in Karangasem district, which were exposed to thick ash and sand, including Pempatan Village, Besakih Village, Menanga Village, Sebudi Village, Muncan Village, Amerta Bhuana Village, Nongan Village, Rendang Village and several areas in Bangli district.

Several flights to and from Bali's international airport were cancelled, while other flights have been diverted. 

"We will continue to monitor the current condition of Mount Agung eruption," said Indonesia's director general of air transport Polana Pramesti.

Rentin called on people living around Mount Agung not to move within a radius of four kilometres from the peak crater. The hazard estimation zone is dynamic and continues to be evaluated and can change at any time following the latest observation data on Mount Agung.

In addition, people have been asked to equip themselves with masks if they leave their houses and always follow directions from officials.

"Increase preparedness. If there is a larger eruption, people must evacuate in an orderly manner, according to the agreed evacuation plan. Don't panic, keep calm, and let's pray that we are all protected by Hyang Widhi (God)," said Rentin.

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