• 6 Indonesians intercepted trying to climb Bali’s Mount Agung, claimed to have gotten mystical summoning

    Red Cross Indonesia (PMI) was on standby when a group of six Indonesians were evacuated from trying to climb up Mount Agung on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Photo: Red Cross Bali Province

    The words “exclusion zone” are apparently regarded by some people as just a suggestion. Less than a week after two Australian tourists were pulled in for questioning following their descent from Bali’s rumbling volcano, Mount Agung, which has a six kilometer exclusion zone set from the crater, another group of hikers was intercepted trying to make the trek.

    Six Indonesians attempted to climb the volcano on Tuesday overnight. Their identities were reported by Tribun Bali as Surnami, 42, and Tomi Asti, 21, from East Java; Sabran, 49, from Bima, East Nusa Tenggara; and three Balinese, Kadek Agus Setiawan, 33, from Buleleng; Made Suardana, 41, from Menanga, Karangasem; and Morgan Made Suarta, alias Kanjeng Prabu Wiranegara.

    But these six didn’t make it to the summit and were instead stopped and evacuated in Sebudi Village on Wednesday morning as they attempted to take the Pura Pasar Agung route.

    They claimed to have gotten a pawisik, which is Balinese for a mystical whispering, or summoning from the volcano to do a ceremony, according to Suarta.

    “We did it because of the pawisik. Only four of us were going to pray at the top while Sunarmi and Tomi would wait down below,” Suarta explained, as quoted by Tribun Bali.

    Pawisik or not, a strict exclusion zone prohibiting hiking and tourism in a six-kilometer radius from Mount Agung’s crater has been imposed, as the volcano persists at the highest alert level, where it’s been since Nov. 27.

    Up until last Thursday, the exclusion zone had been wider, at eight to 10 kilometers from the volcano’s crater.

    The six hikers were spotted by volunteers from Pasebaya, a community made up of leaders from 28 local villages focusing on Mount Agung mitigation activities.

    Pasebaya Chairman I Gede Pawana said lights were visible from the volcano’s side at about 7:15pm.

    A team of Pasebaya volunteers and Basarnas Search and Rescue evacuated the group by 9:15pm, Pawana said, as quoted by Bali Post.

    While there is danger of a larger, explosive eruption from the volcano, it’s also not safe to tread in the exclusion zone because of the release of toxic gases, which have caused trees and animals around the volcano to die, according to Pawana.

    Once evacuated, the six climbers were sent to Selat Municipal Police for further questioning.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/6-indonesians-intercepted-trying-climb-balis-mount-agung/
    Re-posted by Pande

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