Indonesia volcano forces mass evacuation, shuts Bali airport – Chicago Tribune

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Indonesian authorities ordered a mass evacuation of people Monday from an expanded danger zone around an erupting volcano on Bali that has forced the island’s international airport to close, stranding tens of thousands of travelers.

Mount Agung has been hurling clouds of white and dark gray ash about 9,800 feet into the atmosphere since the weekend and lava is welling up in the crater, sometimes reflected as a reddish-yellow glow in the ash plumes. Its explosions can be heard about 7 1/2 miles away.

Videos released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency showed a mudflow of volcanic debris and water known as a lahar moving down the volcano’s slopes. It said lahars could increase because it is rainy season and warned people to stay away from rivers.

The agency raised the volcano’s alert to the highest level early Monday and expanded the danger zone to 6 miles in places from the previous 7 1/2 kilometers. It said a larger eruption is possible.

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