Flight safety level ascended to orange as Bali volcano tends to erupt



By APD writer Maverick

JAKARTA, Sept. 27 (APD) — Indonesian authorities have ascended the level of Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) related to the intensifying volcanic activities in Bali’s Mount Agung from yellow to orange on Wednesday, advising flights serving in Bali to be extra cautious.

The upgrade of danger level for the flights was taken after the authorities learned the occurrence of 4.2 magnitude earthquake which was followed later by hundreds of tremors on Tuesday night, caused by the intensifying volcanic activities inside Mount Agung volcano.

Indonesia, however, has yet to issue flight ban in Bali regarding the volcanic activity event.

“Pilots must improve their alertness related to the VONA orange level,” Head of Volcanic Disaster Mitigation section

at the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry I Gede Suastika said.

He said the orange level obliges flight administrators to pay high attention as the eruption can take place anytime whose volcanic ashes would endanger the flights.

He added that should Mount Agung erupt, it may emit volcanic ashes 5 to 10-kilometers high into the air, which would surely hostile situation for the flights.

As the status of Mount Agung has been stepped up to highest alert, the number of refugees has been increasing to more than 96,000 people with possibilities to increase in the next days, spokesperson of Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in Bali on Wednesday.

The refugees who came from 9 regencies and municipalities were sheltered in 430 locations provided by regional administrations, assisted by central government, he said.

According to information submitted by Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) hundreds of various degrees earthquake related to Mount Agung volcanic activities were felt in Bali earlier on Wednesday.

“As long as

the status remained in highest alert, people are strictly banned from doing activities in areas declared as dangerous,” Head of PVMMG Kasbani said.

Indonesian authorities have previously declared 12 kilometers areas around the volcano’s crater as the dangerous ground, ordered people living in the areas to refuge.

White smoke has also been seen around the volcano crater, indicating intensive activities of magma, already ascended higher to the top of the volcano, reports said.

Meanwhile, during his visit in a refugee shelter in Klungkung regency, Bali, on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo handed over 7.2 billion rupiah (about 534,800 U.S. Dollars) of government aids for the refugees comprised of maskers, rice, mattres, blankets, bathing kits and necessities for children.

The president said that addressing the safety for the people is government’s priority to respond the volcanic event.

He told the refugees to abide by orders issued by rescuers and government officials to minimize bad impacts from the possible disaster.

“Central, provincial and regency governments would always take their utmost to minimize losses which possibly suffered by the people,” he said.

Mount Agung that stranding tall over 3,000 meters above sea level in Bali's northeast part has erupted several times with the most devastating one occurred in 1963, killed more than 1,100 ones.