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Tens of thousands refuse to leave Mount Agung volcano homes

Staff Writer |
Tens of thousands of villagers on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali are refusing to evacuate a 10-km danger zone around an erupting volcano.

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The glowing, 3,000-metre Mount Agung, considered sacred by many on the Hindu-majority island, started spewing huge columns of ash at the weekend and there have been constant tremors and volcanic mud flows since.

Search and rescue teams making daily forays into the zone say some are refusing to leave their cattle unattended, while others have spiritual reasons.

“The government has been clear about evacuation orders, but some people are slow to act or want to stay,” said Gede Ardana, head of Bali’s search and rescue agency.

“We cannot force them - but we will be held responsible, so we need to convince them.”

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