JAKARTA – At least 389 climbers, including 333 foreigners, might be still on a volcano near the Indonesian resort island of Bali that had erupted Tuesday afternoon, government officials said.
Mount Barujari on Lombok Island, which is located east of Bali, erupted at 3 p.m. local time Tuesday, spewing volcanic ash as high as 2 km into the air.
The eruption forced the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation to raise the status of the volcano, which is located inside the caldera of bigger Mount Rinjani, to Level 2. Level 4 is the highest alert.
The volcanology agency also recommended people living on the slopes of Rinjani and visitors or tourists not to do any activities inside the caldera of 3,726-meter-high Rinjani and within the radius of 3 km from the crater of 2,376-meter-high Barujari.
“When the eruption occurred, it was estimated that there are still 389 tourists or visitors on Mount Rinjani,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, adding that 333 of them are foreign climbers whose nationalities are still unknown, while the rest are Indonesians.
According to him, his agency has been communicating with related institutions and volunteers to know the condition of the climbers.
The eruption has not affected Lombok’s two airports and Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai international airport, but Australian airlines Virgin Air and Jetstar have canceled flights to and from Bali.
About 33,700 people live on the slopes of Mount Rinjani.