JAKARTA – Indonesians rescuers have been evacuating 120 climbers, including 112 foreigners, from a volcano that erupted near the resort island of Bali, a government official said Wednesday.
Late on Tuesday, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that at least 389 climbers, including 333 foreigners, might have been on Mount Barujari, a 2,376-meter-high volcano on Lombok Island, east of Bali, when it erupted.
Maj. Gen. Heronimus Guru, deputy chief of operational affairs for the National Search and Rescue Agency, said that, during the eruption, only 120 climbers had in fact remained on the volcano — the others having already left.
“The (remaining) climbers are now in the process of evacuation,” he said.
Mount Barujari 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 alert level of the volcano, which is located inside the caldera of the larger Mount Rinjani.
The agency also recommended people living on the slopes of Rinjani, along with visitors and tourists, to not conduct any activities inside the caldera of Rinjani or within a radius of 3 km from the crater of Barujari.
The eruption has not affected Lombok’s two airports or Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai international airport, near Denpasar, but Australian airlines Virgin Air and Jetstar have canceled flights to and from Bali.
About 33,700 people live on the slopes of Rinjani.