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Image: Last night on Mount Agung. Credit: Facebook.

After a very seismically active day, Mount Agung erupted in the most dramatic fashion last night at 9pm.

According to a report from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), from morning to evening yesterday, Mount Agung experienced several small eruptions with volcanic ash reaching between 1,000 to 2,000 meters.

On Monday night people around Mount Agung were shocked by a larger eruption accompanied by a loud explosion which threw incandescent (glowing/burning) rock from the crater to a distance of approximately 2 kms down the hill. (See the video below)

PVMBG (Geological Agency of Volcanic and Geological Hazard Mitigation) reported that the eruption occurred at precisely 9.04pm with an ash column height of approx 2,000 metres. The gray column of ash was observed with a thick intensity heading west. The eruption was recorded with a maximum amplitude of 24 mm for a duration of 7 minutes 21 seconds. It was characterized as a strombolian eruption, which means it was explosive, throwing incandescent stone from the buildup of pressure from inside the crater. Flares of incandescent lava were observed to reach a distance of 2 kms from the crater. The forest around the summit of Mount Agung caught fire and the fire was quite large in several parts. Pasebaya volunteers reported that the incandescent lava went down the eastern to northeastern slopes to the Culik and Dukuh areas of Karangasem regency and also to a lesser extent to the west and south.

According to the PNPB report, the surrounding community on the slopes of Mount Agung immediately conducted an independent evacuation heading down to the safe villages.

The status remains at Standby (level 3) with danger radius of 4 km from the crater.

From observations of the BMKG Himawari satellite and graphics from Darwin VAAC, a small amount of volcanic ash is floating at varying levels to the west and until now I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar Bali is still operating normally.

Tremors and small eruptions have been continuing during this morning, with one earthquake registering 5 on the Richter scale south of Bali at around 9.15 am, but as yet, ash has not entered the flight paths of commercial flights in and out of Denpasar Airport.

The PNBP encourages people to remain calm and not be distracted by misleading issues and news. At present Mount Agung remains calm.

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