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Mount Agung

Bali's Mount Agung volcano erupted, forcing a mass evacuation

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Updated November 27, 2017 06:33 PM EST

Indonesian authorities on Monday ordered a mass evacuation of people from an expanded danger zone surrounding an erupting volcano on the island of Bali.

Mount Agung also on Monday also forced Bali’s international airport to close, stranding tens of thousands of travelers.

Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency on Monday released footage of a mudflow of volcanic debris and water flowing down Agung’s slopes.

The agency said that instances of the phenomenon – known as lahars – could increase as it is Indonesia’s rainy season.

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The organization also raised Agung’s alert to the highest level early Monday and expanded the danger zone around the landmark to six miles in places.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that the danger zone’s expansion impacts 22 villages containing about 90,000 to 100,000 people.

Sutopo added that roughly 40,000 of that total have already evacuated, while the rest have not left as they feel safe or are reluctant to abandon their livestock.

“Authorities will comb the area to persuade them,” he said. “If needed we will forcibly evacuate them.”

“[It] will certainly spill over the slops,” Sutopo added during a news conference in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta, referencing lava rising in Agung’s crater.

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Multiple media outlets on Monday tweeted out footage of Agung erupting, which began over the weekend with explosions audible about seven-and-a-half miles away.

Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed approximately 1,100 people, and Bali’s airport was shuttered early Monday after ash from the mountain reached its airspace.

Bali airport spokesperson Air Ahsanurrohim said that 445 flights were scrapped, stranding about 59,000 travelers.

Agung’s alert status was raised to Indonesia’s highest level in September following a drastic increase in tremors from the landmark.

The activity prompted more than 140,000 people to leave the area before the alert level was lowered on Oct. 29 following a decrease.

Roughly 25,000 people remain in evacuation centers following those events, which preceded Agung beginning to spew dark gray and white ash about 9,800 feet into the air.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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