Bali volcano update: State of Emergency in Bali EXTENDED as Mount Agung rumbles

Mount Agung has been on the highest alert level since September 22 after volcanologists detected a surge of seismic activity underneath the volcano. 

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika first imposed a state of emergency on September 29 with plans to remove it on October 12. 

The end date was initially pushed back to October 16 but was lengthened again to October 26. The alert has now been extended a third time to November 9. 

The has seen a marked drop in seismic activity in recent days and is showing no signs of an imminent eruption but experts warn the danger remains.

Officials are hesitant to lower the alert status because this type of volcanic fluctuation does not necessarily mean the danger has passed.

Kasbani, head of the PVMBG, told Indonesia’s Antara News earlier this week: “Although the activity has declined, it [seismicity] remained high.”

Latest official estimates suggest about 135,000 Bali locals remain in 385 evacuation camps on the island, with about 30,000 more staying with friends or family.

Bali’s Disaster Management Agency (BPBD)revealed this morning that the threat of a Mount Agung eruption has cost the island an eye-watering £112million (Rp2 trillion).

Unsurprisingly, Bali’s tourism sector has been badly impacted by the uncertainly, losing some Rp264 billion (£14million).

Despite the looming threat of an eruption, Bali’s Tourism Board is encouraging travellers to visit the island, arguing only a small portion is under threat. 

Officials have started offering ‘familiarisation trips’, dubbed fam trips, for writers and journalists who visit Bali, according to the Jakarta Post. 

The Tourism Ministry said: “With the fam trips, we want to convince tourists that Bali is a safe place to visit.”

Mount Agung has not erupted since 1963 when a series of explosions killed more than 1,100 people. 

Mr Pastika believes Bali’s swift evacuation process this time around means there will be no deaths if Agung erupts again. 

He said: “If something happened, even if an eruption happened today, I guarantee there will be no victims.”