• Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

    Government Raises Alert Status of Bali’s Mount Agung Volcano to ‘Waspada’ – One Step Above ‘Normal’. Public Urged to Remain Calm

    (9/14/2017)

    The Geological Department of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (ESDM) has raised the alert status of Bali’s Mount Agung from “Normal” to “Waspada.”

    On Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 2:00 pm the warning level was increased one grade in an announcement from the Karangasem Regency Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD-Karangasem). The warning advised local residents and tourist visitors to immediately suspend climbing activities and camping on the slopes of Mt. Agung until further notice. Officials have declared “no-go” zone with a 2.5-kilometer radius of the volcano’s peak.

    The public has been urged to remain calm, but to increase their preparedness and not be influenced by hoax news emanating from unreliable sources.

    As reported by Balipost.com, officials condemned videos of the mountain posted on social media with the hoax and entirely misleading news that the mountain was in a “Level 4” (awas) status. Even at the currented elevated status, Mount Agung is still at a “Level 2” status (Waspada).

    Mount Agung is the highest volcano on the Island of Bali measuring 3,014 meters above sea level. It is also considered as the Island’s most sacred mountain with its crater considered by many devout Hindus to be the “belly button” of the cosmos.

    Besakih Temple
    – Bali’s most sacred temples and place of annual pilgrimage for all Balinese sits on the slopes of Mount Agung.

    Mount Agung is a monococnic strato volcano that can generate dangerous explosive eruptions. In February 1963, Agung erupted with an explosion felt 6-kilometers from its peak. Subsequent and even larger explosions took place in March of 1963 and January 1964. An estimated 1,500 people died due to the eruptions of 1963 and 1964.

    Background on Volcanoes in Indonesia

    The Indonesian government has its own classification system for active volcanoes.

    Volcanoes, considered to be active, are classified according to four categories:

    •  “Aktif Normal” – Level 1” or “Normal” for volcanoes showing no signs of any unusual activity.
    • “Waspada” – Level 2 or “”Caution” for volcanoes showing increased levels of magmatic, tectonic or hydrothermal activity. At this stage, the public should be advised of the increased activity and plans should be in place for possible evacuation if advised to do so.
    • “Siaga” – Level 3 or “Stand By” for when the mountain is showing signs of a coming explosion with volcanic earthquakes occurring in close proximity. At this stage, the mountain is officially declared “dangerous” with people living near the volcano urged to begin evacuating the area. Disaster mitigation personnel are put on alert.
    • “Awas” – Level 4 or “High Alert” for when a volcano is in imminent danger of exploding in the next 24-hours as indicated by black smoke and clouds, and volcanic ash. Those living within a declared radius of the volcano must evacuate to a safe distance.

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    Sources: http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=17186

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