'Do not panic': Bali's Mount Agung begins erupting

A black ash cloud rises from the top of the volcano. Source 7 News

A black ash cloud rises from the top of the volcano. Source 7 News

With Schoolies underway, thousands of students have flocked to Indonesia or are expected to fly this week.

A rumbling volcano on Indonesia's holiday island of Bali spewed ash and towering clouds of smoke Tuesday, heightening fears it may erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.

'Should any volcanic ash make its way into in Bali airspace tomorrow, however, this could result in flight disruptions'.

'Guests with travel insurance are also encouraged to check with their insurer about their individual circumstances'.

Bali's Mount Agung volcano erupts: Bali's Mount Agung erupted at around 5pm yesterday, with the black smoke reaching a height of more than 700m from the peak. "Do not panic. Stay away from areas within a 6km to 7.5km radius of the volcano", he said on his Twitter account.

As of Tuesday, 29,184 local residents, whose houses are within the danger zones, remained in temporary shelters, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Villagers near the mount were first told to leave in August when it started rumbling but were later allowed to return home.

Flights are continuing to and from Bali as Mount Agung finally begins to erupt.

Indonesia is home to around 130 volcanoes due to its position on the "Ring of Fire", a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs. Eruptions involving magma are generally considered more risky, Mr Nugroho said.

On Oct 29, the centre lowered the volcano's alert level by one notch after it had previously appeared to be on the brink of eruption.

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