Bali volcano spews smoke and ash again

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

In 2010 Mount Merapi, considered one of the most active and risky volcanoes in the world, erupted and killed more than 300 people and forced 280,000 people to flee.

"Smoke is observed with medium pressure with a thick grey colour and with a maximum height of about 1km above the peak", local authorities said. "Ash fall could also affect outdoor activities". "Everyone should remain calm and follow PVMBG recommendations", Devi said.

"In recent months, Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency has been warning residents and tourists to stay away from an exclusion zone of 7.5km around the crater on Bali", the ministry said.

At one stage, after authorities put Agung's alert status at the highest level of four in September, more than 130,000 people left their homes. Since then the mount has been rumbling intermittently.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing nearly 1,600 individuals.

"At this point this is very, very small", tweeted New Zealand volcanologist Dr Janine Krippner.

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

They move incredibly quickly at up to 700km/h giving victims no time to evacuate, and were responsible for most of the 1,600 deaths in the last eruption.

"Time to make sure you are prepared and keep an eye on official Agung information".

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

On Sept 22, the authorities raised the alert level to 4 in response to the most intense volcanic activity recorded in 53 years.

Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport remains open and flights are operating as scheduled, but that could change if ash enters the flight path.

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