Mount Agung’s Alert Status Lowered After Decreased Activity
Since September it’s threatened to erupt, forcing more than a 100,000 residents to evacuate and leading to a substantial decline in Bali’s tourism industry.
But seismic activity at the Mount Agung volcano has decreased over the past week, leading authorities to reduce the threat level and ordering some evacuees back to their homes.
The volcano last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people.
On Sunday afternoon, authorities reduced the threat level from dangerous, a level 4, to level 3 or high alert.
The natural giant is not sleeping yet, but the seismic activity is decreasing and the radius of the danger zone has also been reduced. Six local villages remain in the exclusion zone, about 70 kilometres from the popular Kuta beach. That’s down from 28 villages.
“The last satellite image received indicates the thermal energy is also decreasing,” Devy Syahbana, the head of the Meteorological Bureau in Bali, said.
“Visually we have flown a drone two times to the summit of the crater and we have observed at two areas that the intensity of the activity on the crater surface is relatively decreasing.”
Authorities in Bali insisted the change in status was driven by the volcano’s activity, and no other factors.