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Mount Agung volcano could blow soon, say Bali officials

Staff Writer |
Officials have warned that an eruption of Mount Agung on the tourist island of Bali is imminent with the active volcano in a "critical" phase.

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Increasingly frequent tremors have been recorded amid a spike in volcanic activity.

Around 1,000 tremors are detected each day, indicating a flow of molten rock to the surface.

Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika declared a state of emergency.

The fears prompted more than 140,000 people to flee the danger zone, around 45 miles from tourist resort Kuta.

The observation post for Mount Agung witnessed the volcano emitting a small plume most likely of water vapour on September 29. But there was no ash cloud.

A similar plume of steam was visible on October 19, when the volcano was hit by 1,052 small quakes.

The National Disaster Management Authority for Indonesia has raised the volcanic alert level for Mount Agung to level 4, the highest level possible.

This indicates an eruption is possible within 24 hours - but experts say it is impossible to say exactly when it will blow.

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