Bali’s Mount Agung erupts again

Bali’s Mount Agung volcano erupted again on Sunday, belching ash high into the air and over nearby villages as officials warned tourists to keep clear of the area.

Mount Agung has been erupting periodically since it rumbled back to life in 2017, when it grounded hundreds of flights and left 120,000 visitors stranded.

On Sunday morning, the volcano — which is about 70 kilometres from the tourist hub of Kuta — sent ash skywards as it erupted for about three minutes, spewing white clouds of smoke and ash more than 700 metres into the air, according to the country’s volcanology centre.

This combo of images shows Mount Agung and locals in scenes which began in November 2017 when the volcano became active again. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

“Residents near Mount Agung as well as climbers and tourists should not carry out any activity in the danger zone or within four-kilometre radius from the crater,” the centre said in a statement.

RELATED: Mount Agung has erupted again spewing lava and ash into the air

Several villages in Bali were covered in a thin layer of ash but no smoke or lava was detected coming from the crater and no evacuation has been ordered.

Ngurah Rai International Airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim said that flights were operating normally. Authorities said the air around Denpasar, the Bali provincial capital, is clear from ash.

Trees burn on the slopes of Mount Agung volcano after it erupted in June. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

However, the volcanology centre warned residents near rivers in the area to be on alert for cold lava flows — a type of mudflow that can form from rock and ash in the rainy season and which is often a prelude to the blazing orange lava of popular imagination.

In June, dozens of flights were cancelled after Agung erupted and shot a fresh plume of smoke and ash more than 1000 metres into the sky.

Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed around 1600 people.

Mount Agung from Amed beach in Karangasem on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, located on the “Ring of Fire”. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Indonesia is the world’s most active volcanic region and lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

On December 22, an eruption from Anak Krakatoa triggered a tsunami which hit the western tip of the neighbouring island of Java and southern Sumatra, killing at least 426 and leaving more than 7000 injured.

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