Bali volcano decreases in activity, alert status lowered

February 10, 2018

Indonesian authorities lowered the alert status of Bali's Mount Agung volcano from the highest level on Saturday following a significant decrease in activity and said thousands of people who have fled its slopes for government shelters may return home.

More than 140,000 people fled the area around the mountain after its alert status was raised to the highest level on Sept. 22, indicating an eruption may be imminent.

The decision to downgrade Agung's status was made after several scientific indicators showed a in activity in the past month and all villagers who evacuated from its slopes could return home as the radius of the volcano's had also decreased from 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) from its crater, Ignasius Jonan, the minister of energy and natural resources, said in a statement.

"People's activities as well as tourism in Bali has been declared safe and there will no more disruption related to the volcano at this time," Jonan said.

The government volcano agency said smoke and tremors from the 3,031-meter (9,900-foot) , which indicate rising magma, have reduced significantly, but Agung remained on the second-highest alert level. The agency said that villagers could return home, but warned them not to venture close to the crater, which was still emitting smoke.

Indonesian officials first raised the highest alert five months ago, when seismic activity increased at the mountain. The activity decreased by late October, and the alert was lowered before being lifted to the highest level again in December, forcing more than 55,000 people to live in shelters. Tourists who were stranded when the idyllic island's airport closed for nearly three days rushed to leave.

Agung, located about 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Bali's tourist hotspot of Kuta, last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 .

It is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to and earthquakes because of its location on the so-called "Ring of Fire"—a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.

Explore further: Bali volcano's alert status lowered after decreased activity

Related Stories

Indonesia raises Bali volcano alert to highest level

September 22, 2017

Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level for the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island of Bali to the highest level, and some 10,000 villagers have left their homes around the mountain, officials said Friday.

Thousands flee over Bali volcano eruption fears

November 22, 2017

Thousands living in the shadow of a rumbling volcano on Indonesia's resort island of Bali fled Wednesday as fears grow that it could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.

Recommended for you

When more women make decisions, the environment wins

March 21, 2019

When more women are involved in group decisions about land management, the group conserves more—particularly when offered financial incentives to do so, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study published ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.