The exodus from a menacing volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali is nearing 100,000 people, a disaster official said on Wednesday, as hundreds of tremors from the mountain were being recorded daily.
In 1963, Agung hurled ash as high as 20km and remained active about a year.
One Indonesian travel agency said it had seen some cancellations from domestic and worldwide travelers.
"Mount Agung is entering a critical phase", Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement issued on September 26 after the government raised the status of the 3,031-meter-high volcano on September 22 following an increase in volcanic activity.
Since the threat was initially raised to a level 3 on Monday, more than 75,000 villagers living around the volcano have been officially evacuated to temporary shelters, sport centers, village halls or to the homes of other relatives, according to the Associated Press.
Scientists recorded more than a thousand tremors in one day, and if they continue at that rate, the volcano could erupt in a matter of hours.
Around 62,000 people lived in the danger zone before the evacuations, according to the agency, but residents just outside the area have also left as a precaution. People have been told to stay at least 9 kilometers (6 miles) from the crater, but to stay 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) away when to the north, northeast, southeast and south-southwest.
(Frequent fliers through Bali's Denpasar airport include AirAsia, Garuda, Lion Air, Jetstar Airways and Singapore Airlines.) However, services that fly over Indonesia won't be affected as carriers can divert their flight paths to avoid ash clouds.
Indonesian chief volcanologist I Gede Wantika confirmed that the rocks blocking the magma have created thick layers inside Mount Agung thus making it a "strong volcano".
"No eruption. That is my prayer". "Otherwise, our farms would not be able to be planted again".
"Monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of local authorities".
The volcano Agung is located in the north-east of the island, approximately 75 km from the global airport of Denpasar.
If there's an eruption it could force the closure of Bali's worldwide airport.
Life was going along largely as normal on the island famous for its beaches, temples and gentle Hindu culture.
Indonesia is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire and has 127 active volcanoes, carrying the weight of 13 percent of the world's volcanoes.