Ash blankets villages, flights cancelled after Bali volcano erupts

Bali volcano live webcam: Watch Mount Agung ERUPT as tourist hotspot issues 'RED WARNING'

The red warning means an eruption is forecast to be imminent, with significant emission of ash likely.

The volcanic eruption of Mount Agung in Bali, Indonesia, has led to the country issuing its highest-level aviation warning for flights in the area.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency said that "tourism in Bali is still safe, except in the danger (zone) around Mount Agung", referring to an area that extends to a radius of up to 7.5 km (4.7 miles) from the summit, the BBC reported.

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The Mount Agung volcano on Bali erupted with greater force Sunday, prompting some airlines to cancel flights to and from the popular resort island and forcing an worldwide airport on a nearby resort island to close, according to local officials.

The centre has not felt it necessary to raise the overall alert level, which remains at 3 on a scale of 1 to 4, nor to more strictly limit human activity around the volcano. Suantika said Agung could spew ash for at least a month but did not expect a major eruption. Virgin, KLM and Air Asia Malaysia also cancelled several flights Saturday.

Magma - molten rock - has now been detected close to the volcano's surface, said officials and volcanologists.

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Mount Agung's alert status was raised to the highest in September following a dramatic increase in tremors from the volcano, which doubled the exclusion zone around the crater and prompted more than 140,000 people to leave the area.

Residents were evacuated from 224 points around the island while Lombok International Airport on Pulau Lombok, the island due east of Bali, has closed temporarily, said Ari Ahsan, spokesman for Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. The alert was lowered on October 29 after a decrease in activity.

When the volcano last erupted in 1963, it killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed several villages, remaining one of the largest and most devastating eruptions in the Southeast Asian country's history.

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