Almost 50,000 people have fled the Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing an imminent eruption as dozens of tremors rattle the surrounding region, officials said Monday.
Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the chances of an eruption are "quite big", although experts can't predict when with certainty.
"So far the activity of Mount Agung remains high, the alert level is on level 4 - the highest", said Kasbani, head volcanologist at the centre who like many Indonesians has one name.
The 3,031-metre Mount Agung last erupted for nearly a year in 1963 to 1964, killing about 1,200 people. (AP) Authorities are also preparing ferries to help people leave Bali in case air travel is disrupted, Karya said.
Nengah Bunter now 70, was among those who witnessed the disaster in 1963, he has been evacuated amid the fears of an "imminent" eruption.
Disaster authorities on the Indonesian island famed for its lush tropical interior and beguiling beaches said Friday that instruments recorded more than 450 tremors from cone-shaped Mount Agung from dawn until dusk.
Nyoman Lanus Kecil, 75, said he fled his home when it began to rain ash and got on a boat to another Indonesian island "but when I arrived there was nothing". Since then, tens of thousands of villagers have been urged to abandon their homes beneath the menacing volcano.
"We've set a target to evacuate 20,000 more cows from the affected areas", Nugroho said.
"If my house is destroyed I don't know how to restart my life".
The archipelago of thousands of islands, is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire, ' an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
Volunteers have given out meals for evacuees at a camp for people displaced from homes near an increasingly active volcano on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali.
He said five countries had issued travel advisories related to Mt. Agung's volcanic activity, advising their citizens not to visit Bali.