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Bali`s Mt Batur activity on alert

Denpasar - The status of Mt Batur in Kintamani, Bali, has been raised from active-normal to alert due to its increasing activity as recording 21 times of vulcanic tremor with a maximum amplitudo of 1-12 MM since September

"This happens because the volcano that last erupted in 2000 has shown an increasing activity, as seen by the black smoke coming out of the mountain several times," head of the mountain`s monitoting center, Anak Agung Anom Karsana, said here on Monday.

Under a normal condition tremor happens only five times a day but now it reaches 60 times a day and it is felt by people living within a radius of one to two kilometers from the mountain, he said.

He said he had banned people or tourists from climbing the mountain.

He called on the people living around the mountain to remain calm and not to believe in false rumours. He called on them to listen to directives from the local disaster mitigation coordinating board, in line with circulars from the geological agency of the ministry of energy and mineral resources.

"From 1804 to 2000 the mountain has erupted 28 times with a lapse of one to 39 years," he said.

The mountain`s eruption is generally effusive and strombolian with lava and ash or rocks flowing 100 meter around the brim of the crater. Smoke from the mountain could rise up to 300 meter high above the crater. "Those are all the characteristics of Mt Batur when it erupts," he said.

The tremor itself has been recorded increasing to 21 times of vulcanic tremor with a maximum amplitudo of 1-12 MM since September.

A total of 28 tremors have been recorded in October. A total of 12 tremors meanwhile were recorded from November 1 to 7 and on October 8 a total of five deep and 53 shallow vulcanic tremors were recorded.

"There has been an increase in tremors from September to November shown by solfatara smoke coming out of the mountain`s crater," he said.(*)

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