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Since the ‘alert’ status has been in effect, local priest Jro Mangku Mokoh has been up the summit four times to hold prayers on Mount Agung.

The Hindu priest from Pempatan Village, Rendang Subdistrict, Karangasem is planning to return to the summit on 29 October to pray the fifth and last time.

In an exclusive to Tribun Bali he claimed to have smelt sulfur on the way up to the summit of Mount Agung.

“The smell of sulfur can’t be detected on the edge of the crater. But on the way up there was the smell of sulfur,” said Jro Mangku Mokoh at his house on Wednesday (25/10/2017) afternoon.

According to him, the condition of the crater has changed since the status of the mountain increased to ‘alert’ on 22 September.

“There are two crevices emitting solfatara smoke. One hole is long and narrow, and the other is round. A volume of smoke is coming out of many holes,” the priest said.

“The smoke from the crater does not smell at all. Smoke soared to a height of hundreds of meters. Around the crater you only heard the sound of the wind that resembled the sound of waves. The cloud cover was cool, the same as always. Water and smoke were found in the vicinity of the crater. Hopefully Mount Agung does not experience an eruption,” he told the reporter.

Tribun Bali stated that according to their investigations sulphur had not been smelt on the slopes of Mount Agung.

Mangku Mokoh and his colleagues claimed to have hiked to the summit four times already to hold prayers and also to offer sacrifices according to their beliefs.

On the first ascent, they performed prayers and sprinkled flowers around the crater. Second, they also worshiped and sprinkled flowers. On the third ascent, they offered fruits. On the fourth ascent, they offered the sacrifice of two ducks and chickens.

Mangku Mokoh and his colleagues plan to offer sacrifices around the summit of Mount Agung on Sunday (29/10/2017). This time offerings in the form of chickens still in eggs.

“I go to the top of Mount Agung not in desperation, but in pray,” he explained.

“Anyway, everything that should will come to fruition. October 29th will be the last. I am sure God is there at the top,” said Jro Mangku Mokoh.

Image: Jro Mangku Mokoh earlier this month at the summit of Mount Agung (Facebook)