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11,000 evacuated as Indonesia raises volcano alert on Bali

Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level for a volcano on the tourist island of Bali to the highest level, and more than 11,000 villagers have left their homes around the mountain, officials said.

It was the third time in little more than a week that the alert level has been raised for Mount Agung.

The Department of Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics said there has been a "tremendous increase" in seismic activity at the mountain, indicating a greater probability of an eruption, though it could not give a time-frame.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said no residents or tourists should be within six miles of the crater and within 7.5 miles to the north, north east, south east and south south-west.

The agency said nearly 11,300 villagers have evacuated their houses and are scattered across the districts of Karangasem, Klungkung and Buleleng.

They are living in temporary shelters, sports centres, village halls and with relatives, said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

The 9,944ft Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people and hurling ash as high as six miles.

The mountain, 45 miles north east of the tourist hot spot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

The country of thousands of islands is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

More than 7,000 evacuees were in the 325 square mile district surrounding the volcano, Karangasem, which is home to about 408,000 people.


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