Rumbling volcano stokes fear as Indonesian authorities are on standby to divert flights from island of Bali
INDONESIAN authorities are on standby to divert flights destined for the holiday island of Bali as increasingly frequent tremors from a rumbling volcano stoke fears an eruption could be imminent.
Yet the Balinese government has sent a letter to address the “people around the world”, pleading with tourists that Bali is still “safe”.
However the official advice on the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller websitesays to exercise a high degree of caution.
It comes as Bali Nine member Scott Rush and 166 inmates at Indonesia’s Karangasem prison were evacuated amid fears Mount Agung could boil over.
Mount Agung, about 75 kilometres from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been shaking since August.
But in recent days it’s threatening to erupt for the first time in more than 50 years, forcing more than 80,000 people to flee their homes.
“Hands up who else on the Island feels anxious?” One island expat wrote on her blog.
Tourists have also told news.com.au they have been forced out of accommodation close to the base of the volcano.
“I had been at a wedding in a remote village of Munti Gunung in the north of Bali,” Rory Eastick said.
“It was quite a worrying moment because it was at that time we realised everyone in our hotel had already left. Family staying in another hotel were kicked out and made to find their own way to safety.”