Both volcanologists and even the Indonesian President personally have recently stated that it is principally safe to travel to Bali. The highest alert level applied since January 5th 2018 only to the exclusion zone of 6 km around the volcano. Recently, the competent authorities reduced the alert level for the Mount Agung Volcano from “4” to “3” due to the generally decreasing volcano activities. This resulted in a further reduction of the size of the exclusion zone from 6 to only 4 kilometres. As a result many people who live nearby the volcano were able to return to their homes.
Nonetheless Mount Agung is still active. However, the experts consider a large eruption to be unlikely and rather assume that smaller discharges will occur in the shape of ash clouds (with eventually smaller or bigger repercussions on the air traffic) and around the lava dome, which has formed inside the crater of the volcano. Insofar the possibility for a real threat for people traveling to Bali and staying outside the 4 km restriction zone is close to zero. Moreover, the Bali Mandala is 34 kilometres away from Mount Agung – which is the multiple of a safe distance.
In this regard we find the view of Balinese priest Mangku Bon, who is considered to be the “Guardian of the Agung”, very interesting. Along with a team of volcanologists he studies the activity of the volcano since September 2017. He points out that Agung, contrary to other volcanoes of this kind (so-called “stratovolcanoes”), behaves atypically. Instead of the predicted great eruption it has rather produced a serious of smaller eruptions and has decreased its intensity so far.