More than 100,000 Bali residents living close to Mount Agung are being forced to evacuate after ash started sporadically spewing from the volcano on Saturday and Indonesia’s disaster agency issued its highest-level warning Monday of an impending explosion.
Ash first could be seen erupting from the volcano on Saturday, after which several eruptions occurred into Sunday. Scientists say this could be just the beginning.
“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 geologist at the University of Adelaide.
Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, made a public call on Twitter for clean water, blankets, and masks for the many people forced out of their homes and into shelters.
Authorities shut down Bali’s international airport until at least Wednesday morning because of the ash, causing massive delays and stranding tens of thousands of tourists and residents on the island. Hazardous ash can be seen collecting on plants, mud, and trash.
Here are some images of what’s happening: