• Watch: Balinese priest leads ceremony on top of smoking Agung volcano

    Captivating footage shows a Balinese priest performing a ceremony at the summit of Mount Agung, the island’s rumbling, smoking volcano.

    The priest rings a bell and chants prayers as white steam eerily emerges from the crater.

    The video, shared by the priest, Jero Mangku Ada, was shot on Thursday morning when a group of 253 Balinese villagers hiked up the volcano to pray on Manis Galungan, the day after one of the holiest of days on the Balinese Hindu Saka calendar, Galungan.

    While Mount Agung is no longer on the highest alert level for an eruption, as of Oct. 29 when it was downgraded from level IV (danger) to level III (standby), volcanologists are still on the watch for an eruption. The exclusion zone was reduced from a radius of nine to 12 kilometers, but a red zone spanning six to seven and a half kilometers from the crater now remains in place. 

    Prior to Agung’s downgrading, Balinese priests had summited the mountain when Agung was at highest alert level to conduct prayers and to show that the volcano wasn’t dangerous on several instances. However, after a French man went up to shoot photos of his own from the crater, the government put up checkpoints at the trails leading up to Agung.

    Though clearly exceptions have been made for Manis Galungan and for those wishing to perform other religious ceremonies at the crater—Ada says he was last up on the 29th.

    As Bali’s highest peak, standing at some 3,142 meters, Mount Agung is regarded by the Balinese as sacred.

    Despite alert status’ downgrading, the priest believes that we better watch Mount Agung closely and that it could erupt.

    “Compared with the 29th, there’s already a change. At that time, my belief was not strong that Mount Agung would erupt.

    “But after seeing it again earlier, we must seriously watch Mount Agung,” the priest told Tribun Bali on Thursday.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/watch-balinese-priest-leads-ceremony-top-smoking-agung-volcano/
    Re-posted by Pande

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