More than 120000 flee rumbling Bali volcano

More than 120,000 people have fled their homes because of fears a volcano will erupt soon.

The 3,031-meter Mount Agung volcano in Karang Asem district is in the highest alert status with continuing hike of seismic activity. The exclusion zone around the volcano extends in some parts as far as 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), but officials said people farther from the mountain are leaving too.

Around 122,500 people have fled the island, said Nyoman Parwata, an official at the disaster mitigation agency in Bali.

It last erupted in 1963, spewing ash, gas, rock and miles of lava, killing more than 1,100 people and destroying numerous homes.

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"I was very anxious about the situation" said Nyoman Suarta, who was leaving a village a few kilometers outside the official no-go radius. It remained active for about a year.

"Back then we weren't evacuated until it got really risky", Gusti Ayu Wati, 82, said. "So I made a decision to get out to save myself with my stuff and my pet", he said, carrying a bird in a cage. "Sirens will sound and tell the community the mountain has erupted".

"We've set a target to evacuate 20,000 more cows from the affected areas", Nugroho said. "We want to get out of here just to be safe", said an Australian woman at Bali's airport who identified herself as Miriam.

Bali attracts millions of foreign visitors annually to its palm-fringed beaches and an eruption would be a blow to its tourism-dependent economy.

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Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire and has 127 active volcanoes - more than any other country.

Heather Handley, the earth sciences professor from Sydney's Macuquarie University, said that the increased tremors suggest that an eruption is "imminent".

Hundreds of domestic and global flights were disrupted in 2016 when a volcano erupted on Bali's neighbouring Lombok island, sending columns of ash and debris into the air.

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