Indonesia raises Bali volcano alert to highest level

Children play as evacuees rest at a temporary shelter in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Hundreds of villages are staying at temporary shelters after evacuating from their homes as Indonesian officials had more than doubled the size of a no go zone around the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island and raised its alert level on Monday. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Indonesian evacuees sit at a temporary shelter in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Hundreds of villages are staying at temporary shelters after evacuating from their homes as Indonesian officials had more than doubled the size of a no go zone around the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island and raised its alert level on Monday. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Volunteers prepare a temporary shelter in Bali, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Hundreds of villages are staying at temporary shelters after evacuating from their homes as Indonesian officials had more than doubled the size of a no go zone around the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island and raised its alert level on Monday. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Mount Agung volcano is seen at the sunrise in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Indonesia officials have more than doubled the zise of no go zone around the mount Agung volcano o the tourist island of Bali and raised its alert level for the second time in less than a week. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Mount Agung volcano is seen at the sunrise in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Indonesia officials have more than doubled the zise of no go zone around the mount Agung volcano o the tourist island of Bali and raised its alert level for the second time in less than a week. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — 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.

It was the third time in little more than a week that the alert level was raised. The Department of Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics said there has been a "tremendous increase" in the mountain's seismic activity, indicating a greater probability of an eruption, though it couldn't give a timeframe.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said no residents or tourists should be within 9 kilometers (6 miles) of the crater and within 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) to the north, northeast, southeast and south-southwest.

Waskita Sutadewa, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency in Karangasem district around Mount Agung, said nearly 11,300 villagers have been officially evacuated. He said the real number of displaced might be two or three times that, since many have voluntarily fled their houses.

The agency says evacuees are staying in temporary shelters, sports centers, village halls and with relatives.

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).

The mountain, 72 kilometers (45 miles) to the northeast of the tourist hotspot 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 of the evacuees were in the 840 square kilometer (325 square mile) Karangasem district, which is home to about 408,000 people.

Must Read

Lego wins first China copyright case against...

Dec 7, 2017

Danish toy maker Lego says it has won a major legal victory in China, where a court ruled in its...

Red Square, Bangkok temple among ice festival...

Jan 5, 2018

Ice sculptures of Moscow's Red Square and Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha are among...

China rebukes Zara, Delta for calling Taiwan...

Jan 12, 2018

China rebukes Zara, Delta and Medtronic for calling Taiwan a country on their websites in a new...

Missing bookseller hits out at Sweden in arranged...

Feb 10, 2018

A detained Swedish bookseller at the center of escalating row between Western governments and...

China to build massive $1.5 billion panda...

Mar 8, 2018

The Bank of China has pledged at least 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) to create a massive giant...