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Nearly 50,000 Evacuated From Area Surrounding Bali Volcano


People ride a motorcycle past Mount Agung in the background, a volcano on the highest alert level, in Karangasem Regency, on the resort island of Bali, Indonesia, Sept. 24, 2017.

Nearly 50,000 people have evacuated the area around Bali's Mount Agung volcano as Indonesian disaster officials said an eruption could be imminent.

A spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency said Monday that people have taken shelter in all corners of the island and some have crossed to the neighboring island of Lombok.

The number of people fleeing their homes has more than quadrupled since Friday as the magnitude of tremors increased, prompting fears that Mount Agung could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.

Authorities have warned tourists and residents to avoid camping or hiking within a 12 kilometer radius of the volcano’s crater as seismic activity rattled some areas and smoke rose above one of the world's most popular tourist hubs.

The volcano, located about 75 kilometers from the tourist site of Kuta, has been rumbling since August.

A series of eruptions at Mount Agung between 1963 and 1964 killed about 1,100 people and injured hundreds more.