Locals, animals flee with fears Bali volcano could erupt at anytime

"They are afraid of being hit in case of an eruption", said Gede Sumartana, an official at an emergency post dealing with the displaced in Karangasem district.

This time, 447 temporary shelters have been set up outside the exclusion zone around the volcano, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.

"The danger line on the map is not clearly visible on the field, hence many people are afraid", he said.

Spewing white smoke and sending tremors through the area, Mount Agung's alert status was raised to the highest level last week.

Disaster authorities on the Indonesian island famed for its lush tropical interior and beguiling beaches said Friday that instruments recorded more than 450 tremors from cone-shaped Mount Agung from dawn until dusk.

Australia had responded to a request for assistance, pledging up to 20.5 million Vatu ($190,000) in "much-needed supplies like food, water, shelter and hygiene kits for affected communities on Ambae", a Vanuatu government statement said Thursday.

Indonesia's government has set aside a relief fund of almost $US150m, while the country's disaster agency has dispatched face masks, mattresses, blankets and tents to vulnerable areas.

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But multiple local sources have reported that others, particularly in secluded mountain communities, do not want to leave their ancestral homes or their cattle behind, with an unknown number refusing to evacuate.

Five mobile sirens have been installed in the danger zone to warn residents in the event of an eruption. Back then, there was no evacuation plan, people just "ran to save themselves", he said.

Kasbani, head volcanologist said: "If we look at the magnitude, it continues to increase, yesterday we also felt several quakes with the magnitude of three on the Richter scale".

"If my house is destroyed I don't know how to restart my life".

"The island is safe except for areas around Mount Agung".

Mount Agung erupted in 1963 and killed more than 1,000 people.

The towering volcano's peak is the single highest point on the Pacific island of Bali, standing at 3,031 m (9,944 ft) tall.

  • Sonia Alvarado