Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts

Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts

Mount Agung strikes again

Mount Agung on Monday evening erupted, spewing "flares of incandescent lava" up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) high. The eruption lasted more than 7 minutes, with some of the lava setting fire to nearby forests. Around 700 people in a village near the crater fled the area. "We came here with motorcycles and those with cars helped carry other people," said a resident.

Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts

Not the first time

Mount Agung is one of two active volcanoes on the Indonesian island of Bali. Last year, it erupted in November, prompting tens of thousands to flee the volcano's vicinity. Since then, authorities have enforced an exclusion zone of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) and maintained Agung's alert status at the second-highest level.

Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts

Disrupting plans

While Monday's eruption didn't ground flights, it still unsettled tourists at one of Indonesia's most popular destinations. But last week was a different story. Bali's international airport was closed for half a day on Friday due to volcanic activity. Last year, more than 120,000 tourists were stranded by Mount Agung's eruptions.

Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts

Warning the neighbors

Indonesian authorities said Monday's eruption was "strombolian," considered the mildest type of explosive volcanic eruption. Even then, Indonesia's geological agency warned people in the area, especially those near rivers, of the risk of fast-moving lava flows.

Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts

'Ring of Fire'

Indonesia is home to 127 volcanoes, making it the world's most volcanically volatile country. The archipelago lies in the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire," where tectonic plates collide, frequently causing seismic activity. In 1963, more than 1,100 people were killed during Mount Agung's last major eruption.

Mount Agung, one of two active volcanoes on Bali, has sent a plume of thick ash some 2,000 meters into the air with lava cascading from its summit. Indonesian authorities said the explosions were "thunderous."