This Story is About to Erupt

Claire Nelson, Staff Writer

Recently, the whole world
has been watching the Agung
Volcano in Bali, Indonesia, which
has begun to erupt. So far in Indonesia,
more than 10,000 people have had to evacuate their homes
in fear of destruction and ash. The
last explosion from Agung was in
1963, and, currently, the volcano
is being closely monitored. It is
hard to compare this eruption with
Agung’s previous 1963 event,
solely because there is little information
available on that disaster.
The volcano began to awaken on
November 25th, spewing dark ash
into the sky. The volcano has also
been releasing pyroclastic flows:
mixes of hot gases, lava fragments
and ash. This is why Indonesian officials
are so worried: ash has been
blanketing areas that are miles
from Agung. This, in turn, has
forced the closing of the Ngurah
Rai Airport in Denpasar, Bali’s
capital, and has left escape options
Indonesian authorities
have issued the highest alert to
all people left in the Estimated
Danger Zone (within five miles
of the volcano). Unfortunately,
even though lava has begun to
pool and move toward inhabited
areas, many people refuse to leave
as they are either too stubborn or
unable. The elderly claim they’ve
“seen worse” during the 1963
eruption, but those taking care of
them are still nervous. Indonesians
who have evacuated are living in
crudely-constructed wood huts and
makeshift camps; conditions are
very cramped with almost 50 to a
hut. Another problem is that the
evacuees are mainly poor farmers
who have no form of income while
evacuated. Hopefully, no civilians
will return to their homes before
disaster strikes.
Luckily for Indonesia, this
event is fairly isolated, and it is
not necessary for the rest of the
population to evacuate the country.
24/7 monitoring of the volcano has
commenced as well. Now we must
cautiously watch and wait as only
time can determine the volcano’s
next move.