Bali volcano spews ash and steam

Bali volcano spews ash and steam

Agung's alert status was recently lowered to the second-highest warning level after several weeks at the highest level.

"You should also be ready to evacuate at short notice", it added.

Many local residents are said to now be living in shelters.

Agung looms menacingly over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3,000 meters (9,842 feet).

Pyroclastic flows - clouds of smoke, ash, and gas heated up to 1,000C - are easily the most deadly effects of volcanic eruptions.

There are around 130 volcanoes in Indonesia due to its position on the "Ring of Fire", a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs.

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On Sept 22, the authorities raised the alert level to 4 in response to the most intense volcanic activity recorded in 53 years.

His statement came after his coordination with Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) and Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) to analyze results of observation carried out by Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (DVAAC), one of world's nine reputable volcanic ash advisory center based in Australia.

More than 140,000 people fled homes around the crater last month for fear the volcano would erupt.

The alert level remains at three after it was downgraded from the maximum level of four on October 29 after Agung started rumbling intermittently in August.

Residents are advised to stay away from areas within a 6 kilometer radius of the volcano.

Tourism, a cornerstone of Bali's economy, is Indonesia's fourth-biggest earner of foreign currency after natural resources like coal and palm oil.

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