Tourist volcano scare as Bali's government claims the island is safe

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Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the disaster mitigation agency's spokesperson, said the chances of an eruption were "quite big".

Indonesian officials raised the alert status of Mount Agung to the highest level last week.

The last time Mount Agung volcano erupted in Bali, a stream of molten lava flattened teenage Gusti Nyoman Dauh's home, while cascading ash, rocks and hot gas killed 1,600 of his neighbours.

"At night everything was shaking because of the natural disaster, I evacuated on foot through dusty roads", said 70-year-old Nengah Bunter at another evacuation centre.

Thousands of people have been evacuated in Vanuatu's northern island Ambae in the South Pacific as well as in the holiday island of Bali, Indonesia. But officials now said people are fleeing even farther areas.

In Bali, residents are still being moved outside an exclusion zone that stretches 12 kilometers from the center of Mount Agung.

But multiple local sources have reported that others, particularly in secluded mountain communities, do not want to leave their ancestral homes or their cattle behind, with an unknown number refusing to evacuate.

"We've got like 20, 30, 40 shakes where you could feel the earth shaking", Lange, 30, told AFP.

The agency said a monitoring centre had recorded more than 800 earthquakes on Wednesday and thin smoke was observed rising 50 metres above the crater.

"If we look at the magnitude, it continues to increase, yesterday we also felt several quakes with the magnitude of three on the Richter scale", said Kasbani, head volcanologist at the centre who goes by one name.

Bali's primary visitor hubs are in the island's south, about 70km from Mount Agung.

The mountain, about 70 kilometres to the northeast of the tourist hotspot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

"The island is safe except for areas around Mount Agung".

The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular information service issued a warning to Aussie travellers on Friday, however according to the ABC, it has not deterred tourists from flying to the Indonesian Island.

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