Authorities need to evacuate around 60,000 people, along with thousands of cattle, from the slopes of Mount Agung in Bali due to the rising emergency status of the volcano on Monday (27/11), an official said. (Antara Photo/Khairun Nisa)

Authorities to Evacuate Thousands of People, Cattle From Mt. Agung's Slopes

BY : TELLY NATHALIA

NOVEMBER 28, 2017

Jakarta. Authorities need to evacuate around 60,000 people, along with thousands of cattle, from the slopes of Mount Agung in Bali due to the rising emergency status of the volcano on Monday (27/11), an official said.

Sutopo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said there are 22 villages -- home to about 100,000 people -- located on the slopes of the volcano.

Only around 40,000 people have left their homes to reach safe zones, Sutopo said.

"There are residents who don’t want to leave their villages because they said the situation is still safe and they are considering the life of their cattle," he said.

According to Sutopo, 8,543 cattle have been evacuated to 43 safe zones, though around 5,500 remain in harm's way. Many villagers have refused to evacuate their homes without their cattle, a main source of livelihood in rural eastern Bali.

In the wake of Mt. Agung's continuous eruption over the past few days, residents and tourists have been forbidden to go within 10 kilometers from the volcano's crater.

Bali's local government has issued a disaster emergency response status on the island.

The volcanic eruption has also affected flights to and from the island. Airnav Indonesia, the country's air navigation agency, suspended operations at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar for a second straight day, causing the cancellation of 445 domestic and international flights.

Sutopo said the government has prepared Rp 2 trillion ($147 million) in relief funds.

Lombok International Airport, located on Lombok Island just east of Bali, has also been closed as eruptions from Mt. Agung continue.

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Mount Agung