Breaking news! Mount Agung on Indonesia’s Bali erupts again

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BALI (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Bali’s Mount Agung volcano, located in the island’s eastern Karangasem regency, erupted again early on Sunday (Dec 30), the volcano’s observatory said.

An ash column that spewed from Mount Agung’s crater during the eruption could not be monitored as thick fog shrouded the peak. The eruption caused ash to fall onto several areas around the mountain.

“The eruption occurred at 4.09am local time but the height of the ash column could not be measured because of the heavy fog. The eruption was recorded on a seismograph with a maximum amplitude of 22 millimetres and a duration of three minutes and eight seconds,” the observatory said in its report on Sunday morning.

The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) announced that the alert for Mount Agung was being maintained at the third level – the second highest danger alert level on the four-level scale – while the danger zone was still within a radius of 4 kilometers from the peak.

The centre warned residents and tourists, to stay away from the danger zone, where no activity is allowed. Authorities have forbidden climbing on Mount Agung since its volcanic activity increased in 2017.

“Volcanic activities in the danger zone are dynamic and can change at any time, according to the condition of the mountain,” the observatory said.

People living along rivers at the foot of Mount Agung have also been warned to remain vigilant for possible cold lava flows, which can occur during rain.

Mount Agung has been erupting periodically since it rumbled back to life last November. An eruption in June temporarily shut the holiday island’s airport and grounded hundreds of flights. Mount Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed around 1,600 people.