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A general view shows Mount Agung from Karangasem on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on September 24, 2017. (By AFP)
Thirty four thousand people have fled the Indonesian resort island of Bali as fears grow that a rumbling volcano could erupt any moment.
Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said on Sunday the number of people fleeing their homes surrounding Mount Agung had tripled since Friday amid growing alarm that the volcano could erupt at any moment.
“The evacuation process is ongoing and we expect the number of evacuees to continue to rise,” the agency’s spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, told AFP.
The volcano, located about 75 kilometers from the tourist hub of Kuta, which has been rumbling since August, has not erupted in 50 years.
Evacuations had already been underway.

Officials announced the highest possible alert level late on Friday following increasing volcanic activity and urged people to stay at least nine kilometers away from the crater.
The international airport in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, was anticipating the possibility of closure but no flight schedules had been affected as of Sunday. The airport has prepared buses and trains to divert passengers to alternative hubs in neighboring provinces if the volcano erupts.
The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said tremors happened less frequently on Sunday but were stronger than on previous days.
“The mountain has not erupted until now, the earthquake happens less frequently but the magnitude is getting stronger,” Gede Suantika, a senior volcanologist at the agency, told AFP.
More than 1,000 people died when Mount Agung last erupted in 1963.

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