Not a lot has happened over the previous days in regards to the volcano Mt Agung. The large black ash plume that was sending up large amounts of ash and sulphur started to dissipate on the 29th. Now the volcano seems to only be venting out of what looks more like a steam vent and the smoke rising from the crate is almost white in colour. Have a look at this photo from Thomas Ozanne to see what we mean about previously having two active vents and compare it with a live screen grab from today.
The airport is currently open and most stranded tourists have now been able to fly out. However, with the changing winds at the moment there have been several flight cancellations and not everyone who has been due to depart has been able to leave as of yet. Several Australian airlines are not operating night flights. The status of flights and airlines is very fluid at the moment, the best place to check on flight status is here: DPS Flight Status However, it seems that the wind may be swinging back toward the west and this could possibly close the airport again, look at this ash cloud prediction.
The volcano is still at the highest alert level. Although it looks like things are calming down, looks can be deceiving. There are still constant tremors being felt around the volcano and there is definitely ongoing activity. A report from the local authorities states that after reviewing satellite imagery, the crater is about 1/3 full of lava, approximately 20 million cubic metres. For those interested in reading the full report about the status of the volcano there is a great report on the Magma Indonesia website by the centre of Volcanology: https://magma.vsi.esdm.go.id/press/view.php?id=117
At the moment the area directly near the mountain is struggling a lot. There are thousands of refugees who have had to leave their homes, and in some cases their pets, behind. Their homes and crops are currently at the mercy of the ash fall and there are reports of untold damage to farms and trees already. This has also affected the local wildlife such as monkeys and birds which no longer have their food sources as everything is covered in ash. The people of these areas do need help and many organizations are helping out as much as they can but they do need money. If you would like to donate please consider some of the following:
BARC – volunteering to help dogs and other pets which are stranded in the evacuation zone
In summary, the waiting game continues with no one knowing when a larger eruption may occur. In the meantime, life in the south of Bali is relatively normal, dive centres are open and diving does continue except in the Tulamben area.
Here is a timelapse of the clouds moving past the summit:
Read our previous update here: Agung 29 November 2017