Following a massive emission of steam and gas from its slope on Tuesday, the increased volcanic inflation has deformed the shape of Mount Agung. One of the most powerful volcanoes in Indonesia is anticipated to erupt at any moment. Tourists have been warned to leave the island, as the eruption is imminent and travel warnings have been issued.
On Wednesday morning, the observation post detected that the shape of Mount Agung has deformed, according to the latest measurement using the Electronic Distance Meter (EDM). The head of the Mitigation Department from the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Gede Suantika said, although the deformation is still in the micrometer range, it indicates the imminent eruption at any moment.
“The change is still in micrometer, but we detect a deformation of the volcano.”
He stated the observation post in Rendang village, Karangasem, located 7.5 miles from the volcano noticed the deformation in the early morning on Wednesday after the volcanic inflation was detected on Monday. While on Tuesday, magma activities of the volcano have gotten closer to the crater, as reported by the local newspaper Tribun Bali. The steam and gas emissions from the volcano have reached the 650 feet (200 meters) high in the air.
When the magma activities began to get closer to the surface, the volcanic and tectonic tremors were decreasing. There were only 86 times volcanic tremors, 74 shallow tremors, and five tectonic tremors recorded on Tuesday. While as the volcano started to deform, the tremors are increased this morning with 165 volcanic tremors, 106 shallow volcanic tremors, and 27 tectonic tremors.
Following the update of the situation, the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Singapore have already issued travel warnings as Mount Agung began to enter its critical phase on Monday. As of Tuesday, many foreign tourists still visited beaches in Bali, while the Ngurah Rai International Airport is still operating.
Travel agents in Australia have ceased to provide the travel insurance policies to Bali since last week to anticipate the imminent eruption of the Mount Agung. Two airlines, Virgin Australia and Jetstar offered the option to passengers who have booked the ticket to Bali to change their destination without fee penalty.
The Balinese called the volcano as “Gunung Agung” which means “Great Mountain.” The volcano is situated on the eastern part of the island, which stands at 9,944 feet of elevation, the highest point in Bali. Mount Agung is one of the most popular tourist destinations for trekking and hiking activities. In its southern slope, Pura Besakih, the most important and the holiest temples of Balinese Hindu is situated. Pura Besakih is also one of the most famous tourist spots in Bali.
[Featured Image by Firdia Lisnawati/AP Images]