31 May 2019. Gunung Agung, Bali, Indonesia erupted. It’s not a real concern as the initial report of pyroclastic flows turned out to be fake news. The exclusion zone remains at 4km (12km in September 2017) and flights are not affected.
For its size, Bali has many mountains, the highest of which is Gunung Agung 3031m. Most Balinese are Hindus and they believe that the volcano is the abode of Mahadeva, one of the many manifestations of Lord Shiva. Agung is believed to be created from a fragment of the mystical Mt Meru in Hindu mythology. Of the 10,000 or so Hindu temples in Bali, the grandest of all, Besakih was built on the slopes of Gunung Agung. Other sacred mountains in Bali include Batur 1717m, Abang 2152m and Batukaru 2276m.
The last major eruption of Gunung Agung was in 1963. On 17 March 1963, Agung erupted violently, sending debris 8 to 10 km into the air and generating massive pyroclastic flows. Numerous villages were destroyed. Thick ash washed by rains generated crushing mudflows, killing about 1500 people.
The more recent eruptions in 2017 and 2018 caused no fatalities. The current eruption May-June 2019 is expected to be mild. Wish us luck.