Back in September, when the alert level of Gunung Agung was raised to 4, the highest, we waited. Thousands of people were evacuated and lived in limbo away from their homes and animals. Nothing was visually happening but the experts were monitoring activity inside the mountain and reporting every six hours. Charts showed deep quakes and a rising of magma to the surface but no immediate danger so the warning level went back to 3. Then the people started going back up the mountain during the day. Who could blame them – there was work to be done and it seemed safe. The rainy season had started and heavy rains caused steam to rise. Still we all waited – it was as if the entire island was holding its collective breath. Was Agung crying wolf? The pictures below were posted on a local Facebook group by Jack Blaylock and Jonathan Hague (taken from the mother temple, Besakih). This is now real. The airport is closed and fine ash particles are drifting towards Ubud. Am I imagining gritty eyes and tingly skin? Time to stay indoors.
Not crying wolf.
Graphic of the ash drift at lunch time today.