Almost 6000 People Evacuated due to Volcano on Vanuatu in the Pacific

A villager rides past by with Mount Agung seen in the background in Karangasem Bali Indonesia Sunday Sept. 24 2017. Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island have been evacuated to temporary shelters amid fear that Mount Agung will erupt

The alert status of Agung was raised to the highest level on Friday following a dramatic increase in seismic activity.

Jaya, the priest of the village, said: "The climbers did that".

The disaster agency's spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said evacuees have been spread across more than 370 locations on the island and their numbers are continuing to rise.

In the event of an eruption and ash clouds that could disrupt air travel, authorities have made preparations for flights to be diverted to seven regional airports, including on Java and Lombok islands.

Indonesian chief volcanologist I Gede Wantika confirmed that the rocks blocking the magma have created thick layers inside Mount Agung thus making it a "strong volcano".

Vehicles laden with food, facemasks and bedding have been sent to help more than 75,000 people who have fled a volcano on the tourist island of Bali, as the Indonesian president flew in to visit crowded aid centres. "Volcanoes are a stochastic system, many complexities are unknown by the human brain and technology".

A man observes the Mount Agung with binoculars at a viewing point in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.

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"The total number of tremors has decreased, but if we compare the strength (of tremors) it is definitely increasing", said Gede Suantika, an official at national vulcanology agency. Authorities have mandated the evacuation of everyone living within 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) of the mountain. "It took some people six hours to get to Sanur", she said, of a drive that normally takes about two hours.

More than 200,000 Thais are expected to travel to Indonesia this year.

The mountain, 72km to the northeast of the tourist hotspot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

The designated airports - in Jakarta, Makassar, Surabaya, Balikpapan, Solo, Ambon, Manado, Praya, Kupang and Banyuwangi - will serve as alternative routes should a volcanic eruption and expected ash cloud force Bali's Ngurah Rai global airport to close.

For now, life was going along largely as normal on the island famous for its beaches, temples and gentle culture.

Shops and businesses in Amed, a string of traditional fishing villages with a panoramic view of Agung some 40km away, were open Tuesday and tourists were enjoying the scenery.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire and has 127 active volcanoes, carrying the weight of 13 percent of the world's volcanoes.

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