Agung – 2

Mt. Agung (Gunung Agung) has now been upgraded to a Level IV warning, as ash and stones have begun to spew from the crater. Aid stations and supply depots have been set up in strategic locations, flights from Australia have been cancelled. It appears that government planning, along with volunteer efforts to gather supplies and provide emergency housing, has paid off. The mountain itself is still thinking about whether it wants to launch a full scale eruption or just put on a temporary show.

Mt. Agung

We have now a level 3 (out of 4) warning for an eruption of Mt. Agung. Agung is the highest point on the island of Bali, at 9,944 feet. The Balinese believe that Mt. Agung is a replica of Mt. Meru, the central axis of the universe. The most important temple on Bali, Pura Besakih, is located high on the slopes of Agung.

The volcano last erupted in 1963-1964. The massive pyroclastic flows devastated numerous villages, killing approximately 1500 people. Heavy rainfall and flooding after the eruption killed an additional 200, and a second eruption several months later killed another 200 inhabitants.

This time around, people are being evacuated in an orderly manner from all areas within 7 kilometers of the base of the mountain. It may be that Agung will settle down after huffing and puffing for a while. One hopes so, at any rate.

Hurricanes in Florida, earthquakes in Mexico, volcanic eruptions in Bali — Oh my!