On Monday, Sept. 25, the Indonesian government's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation reported that the volcano has begun to develop a volcanic inflation. The Indonesian Natural Disaster Recovery Agency (BNPB) has denied the news about the eruption, which was reported by many local fake news outlets on Sunday.
In the latest update, the respectable Indonesian newspaper Kompas reported the official statement from the chief of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Kasbani, who noticed that Mount Agung volcano developed a volcanic inflation on Monday afternoon, local time (GMT+8). Kasbani said that he will continue to closely monitor the situation.
"We will continue to closely monitor the volcanic activities as we found a trend of volcanic inflation in the Mount Agung."Meanwhile, on Sunday, many local news outlets have reported the fake news and hoax about a Mount Agung eruption. In response to the fake news, the Indonesian Natural Disaster Recovery Agency (BNPB) has issued an official statement.
In his official Twitter account, the head of the Data Center of BNPB, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, stated the news about a Mount Agung eruption on Sunday was a hoax and fake news. Sutopo said that citizens should be aware of such unverified news. He urges people to rely on the official announcement rather than believe in fake news and hoaxes. He also suggested that citizens combat hoaxes and fake news.
Masyarakat dihimbau tidak percaya dan menyebarkan berita yang menyesatkan. Letusan gunung tidak dapat diprediksi pasti. Mari lawan Hoax. pic.twitter.com/Y6rLWM5MyS
— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_BNPB) September 25, 2017
Volcanic activities of Mount Agung were expected to escalate after several shallow tremors were detected in late August. On Sept. 14, observers noticed sulphuric smoke was spewing from its crater. Subsequently, the local authorities increased the alert level to "vigilant." As volcanic activities continue to increase, since Friday last week, the government has raised the alert level to maximum.
Beginning Friday, thousands of people have been evacuated and according to Media Indonesia, the Balinese authorities have prepared 126 evacuation centers in the safety zone, beyond 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) from the base of the volcano. The governor of Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika, has visited the evacuation centers, as well as coordinating with his staff and central government to prepare for a possible eruption.
Mount Agung volcano is situated 46 miles northeast of Kuta beach, the most famous tourist destination in Bali. Local authorities have also instructed tourists to prepare for a possible eruption of Mount Agung, which may happen anytime. Watch the latest footage of the volcano taken by a citizen of Labasari village, Karangasem, who was evacuated on Sunday.
[Featured Image by Firdia Lisnawati/AP Photo]