Activity from the Mount Agung volcano in Bali continues to intensify with scientists warning of an immanent major eruption.
Volcanic ash and smoke is being spewed up to nine kilometers into the air over Bali forcing the closure of Denpasar airport, stranding tourists – many of them Australian.
Major airlines that serve the Australia-Bali route, including Jetstar, Virgin Australia and AirAsia, have had to cancel flights, ruining the travel plans of thousands of holiday-makers.
445 flights — including 196 international flights — were cancelled on Monday alone, affecting almost 60,000 passengers, the airport said in a statement.
The disruption coincides with beginning of the summer travel season and the peak of the end-of-year Schoolies season.
“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,” Geologist Mark Tingay, an associate professor from the University of Adelaide’s Australian School of Petroleum said, according to News.com.au.
Meanwhile, the evacuation of an estimated 150,000 people living near the volcano continues and may last as long as a month, according to local officials.
Growing threat of eruption – the awesome power of nature
Since last Tuesday, Bali’s Mount Agung has been spewing volcanic ash with growing intensity.
On Monday morning, local authorities raised the warning level to maximum level 4. The volcano was shifting into the magmatic phase.
“We ask people in the danger zone to evacuate immediately because there’s a potential for a bigger eruption,” said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the agency.
“Not all residents have evacuated yet. There are those [who have not left] because their farm animals haven’t been evacuated yet. There are those who feel they are safe,” Sutopo said.
Social media users across the globe has been in awe after seeing the countless videos and pictures of the volcano growing more and more vicious. Check out some of the best bits below…
#Bali #volcano eruption:
– Alert level at highest level
– 100k+ should evacuate
– Volcanic ash threatens air safety
– All flights cancelled
– At least 59k passengers affectedhttps://t.co/qNpyDLot72
Video courtesy: Instagam/surfinglens pic.twitter.com/brDV76sSQu
— RT (@RT_com) November 27, 2017
Everyone in area be careful and we hope all are safe. #agung #volcano #eruption pic.twitter.com/mHV4MYNqA1 — Bali Recycling Co. (@BaliRecycling) November 26, 2017
Indonesia Volcano: Mount Agung
Cloud of smoke = 5.6 miles high
The volcanic eruption has moved on to the more severe magmatic eruption phase-where highly viscous lava can trap gasses under pressure, leading to an explosion
Larger Eruption Is Imminent#Bali
— Laurel Coons ???????? (@LaurelCoons) November 27, 2017
Smoke billows from Mount Agung in Bali as authorities halt air traffic & evacuate those in vicinity, fearing an imminent eruption #verified pic.twitter.com/egk9Se8KdJ
— RTDigital (@RT_Digital) November 27, 2017