Thousands have left their Bali, Indonesia homes in the area surrounding the Mount Agung volcano on Friday, with warnings of an imminent eruption. Meanwhile, advisory warnings have been issued to tourists by many other countries as the highest level alert has been issued. This happened after seismic activity increased around the volcano.

Approximately 10,000 villagers who live in the area surrounding Mount Agung were likely to be affected and have evacuated, staying in temporary evacuation housing and with relatives. However, according to, approximately 240,000 residents are likely to leave eastern Indonesia in the next 24 hours.

Tremors recorded from Mt Agung volcano

According to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 676 tremors were recorded Thursday by seismic monitoring equipment located on the volcano. They say this is caused by the lava pushing through the layers of rock underneath the mountain. During one, six-hour period on Friday morning, there were 178 tremors recorded. Local residents in the area were quoted as saying the volcano is “starting to spit,” while one man said it is “going to explode.”

Reuters quotes National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho as saying the volcanic activity is high with indications that magma is rising to the surface, causing the recorded tremors.

The head of volcano mitigation, Dr. Syahbana, said the recorded tremors are coming from deep inside the volcano. According to Syahbana, the number of earthquakes caused by the volcano is increasing, meaning the magma has a “huge energy.”

While he said there was no reason to panic, he said they need to be alert to the situation as the earthquakes were evidence of a potential eruption, with magma pushing out in all directions, looking for the softest path.

Syahbana is monitoring the volcano from an observation station, located around seven miles from the crater.

Area surrounding the volcano evacuated

This led to Willem Rampangilei, head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), saying the Indonesian government has already taken precautionary measures in anticipation of a possible eruption.

BNPB had stated that no tourists or residents should be in the area within six miles of the volcano’s crater. While flights to Bali have not yet been canceled or affected, various tour groups have already been hit due to the exclusion zone around the volcano.

Tourists who are planning to visit Bali have been advised to reconfirm their journeys with their respective airlines, while residents have been asked to monitor the local media for instructions on how to proceed.

The last eruption of Mount Agung occurred in 1963, with over 1,000 people killed and several villages destroyed.