Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Exodus from Bali Volcano Nears 100,000 as Tremors Intensify

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Exodus from Bali Volcano Nears 100,000 as Tremors Intensify

Article excerpt

BALI, Indonesia * The exodus from a menacing volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali is nearing 100,000 people, a disaster official said Wednesday, as hundreds of tremors from the mountain are recorded daily.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said more than 96,000 people have fled the area around Mount Agung in the northeast of the island.

Villagers began leaving in the middle of last week and the number of evacuees has swelled daily since Friday, when the volcano's alert status was raised to the highest level.

The agency said a monitoring center had recorded more than 800 earthquakes so far Wednesday and thin smoke was observed rising 160 feet above the crater.

The volcano last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,100 people, and remained active for about a year.

Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the chances of an eruption are "quite big," although experts can't predict when with certainty. …

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