Almost 35000 flee rumbling Bali volcano

Almost 35000 flee rumbling Bali volcano

The eruption alert was actually raised to the highest level on Friday following a "tremendous increase" in seismic activity.

The number of people fleeing home has significantly risen to almost 35,000 after the volcano alert status was raised to the highest level in the Bali resort island of Indonesia, a senior official said here on Saturday.

Getty Images A man looks a map of the danger zones at the Mount Agung monitoring station in the Karangasem regency of Bali.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said 14 tons of aid has been sent, including tents, blankets, mattresses and portable communications equipment.

The numbers on Sunday (local time) from disaster officials are more than double previous estimates and are continuing to rise, they say.

Thousands are living in temporary shelters, sport centres, village halls and with relatives or friends. Up to 30,000 villagers around the mountain evacuated their homes.

He sold the family's cow because they don't know when they'll be able to return.

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Officials urged the public to remain calm amid false reports and videos circulating online of an eruption.

The island's main tourist areas and flights remain unaffected for now.

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". Lava traveled 7.5 kilometers (4.7 miles) and ash reached the capital, Jakarta, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said the tremors had grown more powerful on Sunday.

"The latest analysis indicates that Mount Agung's seismic energy is increasing and has the potential to erupt", the National Vulcanology Center said in a statement.

"At 11.30 p.m. we said "we have to leave" and many other people in our area were also leaving".

The 1963 eruption of Mount Agung killed more than 1,000 people and devastated many villages. "However, we should be ready for the best scenario if the eruption does happen", he added.

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