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Mt Agung eruption: Bali travellers told to pack volcano survival kits

Bali travellers are being urged to pack their own Mt Agung survival kits with the volcano on the cusp of another eruption.

As seismic activity increases US-based Dr Janine Krippner said “volcanic activity is still high and Mt Agung is rated at Level 4 — the highest level”.

She has advised travellers to pack protective equipment for their trip.

“Travellers need to take eye protection, [such as eye goggles] and face masks,” Dr Krippner said.

After almost a week of remaining relatively quiet, the volcano’s tremors have increased significantly in number and intensity, prompting the volcanologist to warn of a bigger eruption to come.

“Asthma sufferers ought to seriously reconsider travelling to Bali,” Dr Krippner said.

“This is a personal decision but travellers must be aware of the risks and take precautions.”

The warning comes as Mt Agung starts to emit small bursts of ash rather than just venting steam.

Airlines are monitoring the volcano around the clock and said that the renewed activity was “of concern”.

Volcanologists do not have any comparable seismic data for Mt Agung’s last series of eruptions in 1963, but said the pattern appeared similar.

The eruption of 1963 was one of the most devastating in Indonesia’s history and the major blast on March 17 was preceded by two much smaller eruptions on February 18 and 24.

Mt Agung volcano spews smoke and ash in Karangasem, Bali.
Mt Agung volcano spews smoke and ash in Karangasem, Bali.Picture: AP

There was a fourth eruption on May 16, 1963, and the activity continued for a year.

Mt Agung came to life in mid-September with tremors building to a peak in October before subsiding.

The volcano erupted on November 21 with mostly steam created by the lava heating up the water in the crater, but that turned to a magmatic event on November 25.

Bali’s airport was closed the next day and stayed shut for several more.

The Singapore Government has told its travellers not to head to Bali.

School students stand on a truck as transport to school, as Mt Agung volcano spews smoke and ash.
School students stand on a truck as transport to school, as Mt Agung volcano spews smoke and ash.Picture: AP

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s advice remains one of caution.

It urges tourists to monitor the media and other sources of information, such as Magma Indonesia and Indonesia’s Disaster Management Authority and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

It also warns to expect delays and disruptions to transport and tourism services and urges tourists to take extra funds.

See Virgin Australia’s ash assessment process HERE.

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