The Mount Agung volcano in Bali has erupted, resulting in a thick volcanic ash cloud spreading up to 2,000 metres into the sky.
Mount Agung erupted at 3:21am local time on the morning of Sunday April 21 (1:23am BST).
Ash is said to have hit various parts of the Indonesian province, including Klungkung, Bangli, Denpasar, Badung and Tabanan.
There has not been any immediate reports of causalities as a result of the eruption. However, the status of the active Balinese volcano is still on alert.
Furthermore, authorities are continuing to impose an exclusion zone stretching for 4km on the popular holiday island, with members of the public instructed to stay away from the danger zone.
Bali’s Mount Agung erupts early Sunday morning spewing volcanic ash as high as 2,000 metres into the sky. Indonesian authorities say the resort island is still safe. pic.twitter.com/6xiTad0XGV
— Saifulbahri Ismail (@saifulCNA) April 21, 2019
As reported by 7News, a spokesperson from the national disaster mitigation agency, by the name of Sutopo Purwo Nugroho has made the following comment:
This a normal situation of an active volcano and there is no need for the public to panic, as long as they remain outside the danger zone.
Don’t try to get closer to the crater to document the volcanic activity in the crater.
Despite this warning, there have been reports of foreign climbers choosing to ignore the danger zone status and trying to climb Mount Agung.
According to news.com.au, rescuers are scouring the area to try and bring them to safety.
As a precautionary measure, the team at Bali Disaster Mitigation Agency have distributed face masks to people who have been affected by the eruption.
Furthermore, both Mount Bromo in East Java and Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta remain on standby, with exclusion zones having also been implemented.
Bali's Mount Agung erupted early on Sunday morning, sending a volcanic ash cloud two kilometres into the sky and sparking fears about flight delays. pic.twitter.com/CWS5sE0Ew5
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) April 22, 2019
On Sunday night, some flights from Australia to Bali were impacted, with a short period of delays reported at Denpasar’s international airport.
There were also brief delays among departing Virgin airlines flights. However, according to 7News, a spokesperson from Virgin described operations as now being ‘business as usual’.
According to Indonesian authorities, Bali’s main airport, Ngurah Rai International Airport, remained unaffected by the eruption.
Mount Agung on Indonesia's resort island of Bali erupted on Sunday, spewing ash some 2 km into the sky. pic.twitter.com/UgG7PkHFDH
— Najibullah Hassani (@najibullahhass) April 22, 2019
Mount Agung has erupted regularly since 2017. In 2017, there were five eruptions over the course of several weeks. This activity disrupted flights and led to widespread evacuations.
In June 2018, a further significant eruption led to the interruption of air traffic, with travellers left stranded for days on end as a result. Minor eruptions of the active volcano have also been occurring regularly.
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