Starting on Monday, 100,000 residents of the Island of Bali have been evacuating in response to the abundant ash which has been spewing from Mount Agung.
Ash first started erupting from the volcano on Saturday, and several more eruptions occurred on Sunday. The clouds of volcanic debris obscured flight paths and resulted in the calls for evacuation.
“The volcanic eruption has now moved on to the next, more severe, magmatic eruption phase, where highly viscous lava can trap gasses under pressure, potentially leading to an explosion,” said Mark Tingay, a University of Adelaide geologist, who spoke with Science Magazine.
Bali’s international airport was shut down until 3 pm on Wednesday due to the ash, resulting in the cancellation of 445 international flight and leaving 59,000 residents and tourists stranded. However, at 3 pm the airport was tentatively reopened with airport officials promising to evaluate the ash and wind conditions every 6 hours. Many have speculated the airport’s reopening despite the threat of even worse eruptions is an answer to stranded tourists—primarily from China and Australia—calling to go home.
— Assaad Razzouk (@AssaadRazzouk) November 26, 2017
Mount Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed around 1,700 people. In September of this year, the people of Bali faced similar circumstances when the government called for evacuation following hundreds of shallow volcanic earthquakes recorded in a matter of days. Around 144,000 people heeded a government admonition to flee the area, only to be told to return days later after the threat had passed.
Title photo: (Firdia Lisnawati / AP)
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