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Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika left for Karangasem this morning after Mount Agung’s status increased from level II to level III (alert) last night. The governor left at 10.30 am from Denpasar. Pastika will conduct a visit to the location of displacement sites from the slightly active Mount Agung, as reported by Bali Post.

Related to Mount Agung’s activity, a number of stakeholders will hold a meeting to discuss the handling of the situation. The meeting was to be held at 11.00am. Parties from the National Agency for Disaster Management and Volcanology attended the meeting at the Regent of Karangasem’s office.

Earlier, Head of the Data Center for Information and Public Relations of National Disasters Management Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, mentioned the report from the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation and visual reports from the Mount Agung observation post have not detected an ash cloud. “Mount Agung has not erupted and is not issuing ash,” he told reporters.

The monitoring by the Himawari satellite from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency also shows that there has been no ash cloud around Mount Agung. The results of Aqua and Terra satellite analysis from National Institute of Aeronautics and Space does however show three hotspots of forest and land fires around Kubu, Karangasem regency (north-northeast) of the Mount Agung crater in the last 24 hours.

Thus it can be concluded that the ash cloud information and photos circulating in social media are not from volcanic activity of Mount Agung. It was later today confirmed that the ash material has come from forest and land fires that have occurred around Mount Agung.

Mount Agung’s activities continue to be monitored by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, and information is submitted to the National Disaster Management Agency and the Regional Disaster Management Agency. The government continues to take anticipatory measures on the field.

“People are encouraged to be calm. Do not be fooled by misleading facts. Currently a lot of hoaxes and misleading information is circulating that causes unrest. Spread the right facts and information,” Nugroho explained.

Ed. The latest from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, which supplies the information used to decide if Australian flights are flying in and out of Bali, is that there is no volcanic ash warning at present.