• VIRAL: Another Balinese priest summits Agung volcano to check out situation and conduct prayers

    Balinese man Ketut Ngeteg says he hiked up Mount Agung on Oct. 2, 2017 to see the status of the volcano and conduct prayers. Photo via Facebook

    Another Balinese priest has climbed to the top of the rumbling and smoking volcano in Bali that is threatening to erupt at any moment now.

    A group of Balinese priests shocked the internet last week when they hiked up Mount Agung on Sept. 29 to pray and check out the highly hazardous situation for themselves.

    Mount Agung, located in Bali’s Karangasem regency, has been at the highest alert, level IV status since Sept. 22, for fear that it will erupt again for the first time since 1963. After being on the highest level for so long, it seems people are starting to doubt how likely it really is that the volcano will erupt. But volcanologists insist that though seismic activity has been somewhat fluctuating since the volcano got upgraded to a level IV status, we are not out of the red yet

    An exclusion zone of nine to 12 kilometers has been set from the volcano’s crater and some 144,000 people are currently evacuated from villages inside the “danger zone.” Those who evacuated from outside the zone were told to go home on Saturday.

    Now a new set of photos and video taken by another priest and his climbing companion have gone viral, showing a smoking volcano crater.

    Accompanied by Ketut Ngeteg, the Jro Mangku (Balinese priest) of Pura Pasar Agung trekked to the top of the volcano on Monday.

    Ngeteg said they just went up for 15 minutes to conduct prayers, then immediately descended the mountain.

    Talking to VIVA News on Wednesday, Ngeteg confirmed that he was the one who recorded the viral videos of Agung’s crater circulating on Facebook.

    “Yes, that’s right. I’m the one who recorded them,” Ngeteg said.

    Ngeteg said he climbed Agung to see the condition of the crater as well as for the purpose of doing a ceremony right on the lip of the crater with the priest from Pura Pasar Agung.

    “We climbed from Pura Pasar Agung together, until the peak, taking ten hours, minus ten minutes,” said Ngeteg.

    The man acknowledged that he was aware that the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) had designated an exclusion zone, forbidding people to climb the volcano, but that he had to go up to the top to carry out his “sacred duties.”

    “I know it’s forbidden to go up to the top, but it’s really God who rules everything. I only went up to show my devotion.”

    The highest peak in Bali, Agung is widely regarded as sacred amongst the Balinese. The island’s holiest and largest temple complex, Besakih, is located on the slopes of Agung and narrowly avoided devastation by lava flows during the last eruption in 1963.

    Despite Besakih’s position inside the danger zone, the governor, along with other villagers from around Besakih gathered at the complex to perform a special ritual coinciding with the full moon on Thursday afternoon.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/viral-another-balinese-priest-summits-agung-volcano-check-situation-conduct-prayers/
    Re-posted by Pande

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