Fearing eruption, thousands in Bali flee from Mount Agung

A man observes the Mount Agung with binoculars at a viewing point in Bali. (Firdia Lisnawati, AP)
A man observes the Mount Agung with binoculars at a viewing point in Bali. (Firdia Lisnawati, AP)

Bali - Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island of Bali are sheltering in sports centres, village halls and with relatives, fearing Mount Agung will erupt for the first time in more than half a century.

Authorities raised the volcano's alert status to the highest level on Friday following a "tremendous increase" in seismic activity. It last erupted in 1963, killing 1 100 people.

Villager Made Suda said he left overnight with 25 family members to stay in the Klungkung sports centre.

He said on Saturday: "I feel grief and fear, feel sad about leaving the village and leaving four cows."

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said no-one should be within 9km of the crater and within 12km to the north, northeast, southeast and south-southwest.

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