Indonesia’s disaster agency says more than 75,000 people have fled the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island of Bali because of fears of an eruption.
The agency’s spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said Tuesday that evacuees are spread across more than 370 locations on the island and their numbers are continuing to rise.
“The chance that an eruption will happen is quite big. But it cannot be predicted when it will happen,” Nugroho said.
An increased frequency of tremors from the volcano shows the magma continues to move towards the surface, the spokesman said.
The volcano’s alert status was raised to its highest level on Friday, with hundreds of tremors daily indicating a high chance it will erupt.
The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said there has been an increase in volcanic tremors, with a total of 564 recorded on Monday.
Evacuees have packed into temporary shelters or moved in with relatives. The disaster mitigation agency recorded about 62,000 people live in the dangerous zone. Some 2,000 cows have also been evacuated from the flanks of the volcano.
The airport in Bali’s capital Denpasar, through which millions of foreign tourists pass every year, has not been affected, but several countries such as Australia and Singapore have put out a travel advisory.
Mount Agung, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) from the Indonesian tourist hub of Kuta, has been rumbling since August, threatening to erupt for the first time since 1963.
Agung’s last eruption claimed the lives of about 1,100 people.