Fearing eruption of volcano, thousands begin evacuations in Bali

Nearly 50,000 people have fled the Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing an imminent eruption as dozens of tremors rattle the surrounding region, officials said Monday.

Waskita Sutadewa, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency in Bali, said people have scattered to all corners of the island and some have crossed to the neighboring island of Lombok.

Indonesian authorities raised the volcano’s alert status to the highest level on Friday following a dramatic increase in seismic activity. It last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people.

Thousands of evacuees are living in temporary shelters, sports centers, village halls and with relatives or friends. Some return to the danger zone, which extends up to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from the crater, during the day to tend to livestock.

Officials have said there’s no immediate threat to tourists, but some are already cutting short their stays in Bali. A significant eruption would force the closure of Bali’s international airport, stranding thousands. (AP)

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Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

A police officer take a photo through his smartphone as they patrol past abandoned houses in Besakih which is located a few kilometers away from the mountain’s slopes, Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 25, 2017. More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesia tourist island of Bali, fearing will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

Tourists have a drink while watching the sunset behind Mount Agung, a volcano on the highest alert level, in Amed on the resort island of Bali, Indonesia on Sept. 25, 2017. (Photo: Darren Whiteside/Reuters)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

A sailboat is seen at the sun sets behind Mount Agung, a volcano on the highest alert level, in Amed on the resort island of Bali, Indonesia on Sept. 25, 2017. (Photo: Darren Whiteside/Reuters)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

Police officers patrol at Bali’s most prominent temples called Pura Besakih in the fog, a few kilometers away from the mountain’s slopes in Besakih, Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 25, 2017. More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesia tourist island of Bali, fearing will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

A general view shows Mount Agung from Karangasem on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on September 24, 2017.
Authorities have raised alert levels for a volcano on the Indonesian resort island of Bali after hundreds of small tremors stoked fears it could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years. / AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA (Photo credit should read SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

Evacuations begin in Bali fearing eruption of Mount Agung volcano

Villagers rest at an evacuee camp in Rendang, Bali, Indonesia, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesia tourist island of Bali, fearing will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

Rescuers assist villagers who were evacuated from their homes on the slope of Mount Agung to get off a truck upon arrival at a temporary shelter in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 22, 2017. Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level for the Mount Agung 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 Friday. The 3,031-meter (9,944-feet) Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people and hurling ash as high as 10 kilometers (6 miles). (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

Villagers who evacuated from their homes on the slope of Mount Agung sit in a truck upon arrival at a temporary shelter in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 23, 2017. Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island of Bali are sheltering in sports centers, village halls and with relatives, fearing Mount Agung will erupt for the first time in more than half a century. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

Bali’s most prominent temples, called Pura Besakih and located a few kilometers away from the mountain’s slopes, are seen in the fog, Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 25, 2017. More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesia tourist island of Bali, fearing will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

Villagers rest in their truck as a temporary shelter in Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia on Sept. 23, 2017. Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island of Bali are sheltering in sports centers, village halls and with relatives, fearing Mount Agung will erupt for the first time in more than half a century. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

The sun sets behind Mount Agung, a volcano on the highest alert level, from Amed on the resort island of Bali, Indonesia on Sept. 25, 2017. (Photo: Darren Whiteside/Reuters)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

Villagers sit in a temporary shelter in Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 23, 2017. Indonesian authorities raised the alert level for the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island to the highest level, and more than 11,000 villagers left their homes around the mountain, officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

A police officer patrol near abandoned houses in Besakih, located a few kilometers away from the mountain’s slopes, in Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 25, 2017. More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesia tourist island of Bali, fearing will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Fearing eruption, thousands evacuate

A villager rides past by with Mount Agung seen in the background in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 24, 2017. Thousands of villagers on the Indonesian resort island have been evacuated to temporary shelters amid fear that Mount Agung will erupt for the first time in more than half a century. Its last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people. (AP Photo/J.P. Christo)