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Image: A calm Mount Agung. Credit:  @iamsage

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) lowered the status of Mount Agung in Karangasem, Bali, from Level IV (Beware) to Level III (Standby) this morning.

“With the lowering of the status, the exclusion zone was also lessened from the six kilometers to four kilometers from the summit of Mount Agung,” said the Minister, Ignatius Jonan, after chairing a meeting in the Agung Volcano Observation Post, Desa Rendang, Karangasem, Bali.

Minister Ignatius Jonan explained, after the decline of this status, all of those in evacuation shelters may return to their homes any time soon.

“At this time, community activities have been declared safe from the disruption of Mount Agung, so that the residents can return to their homes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Head of PVMBG, Kasbani stated, the new status is based on monitoring the volcanic activity of Mount Agung which has decreased significantly.

“All the data and information indicates that the activity of Mount Agung has decreased. The volume of the lava dome in the crater also hasn’t change significantly, which is still about 20 million cubic meters,” he said.

Kasbani added, tiltmeter measurements show the pattern of inflation (swelling) with a low rate. This indicates that the accumulation of pressure in Gunung Agung is still going on, but not significant.

“Thermal satellite images also showed a decrease in temperature on the surface of the lava dome. This indicates a reduction in the rate of flow of magma to the surface,” said Kasbani.