Indonesia: Mt Agung Volcanic Eruption DREF Operation n° MDRID012 Final Report


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 22 September 2017, Indonesian Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre (Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi Indonesia – PVMBG) raised the Alert Level of Mount Agung in Bali from Level III (High Alert:
Orange/Ready to Erupt) to the highest: Level IV (Red Alert/Danger). This triggered a mass evacuation of villages living near the volcano. By 29 September 2017, the number of evacuees was over 143,000 people in 471 camps. A month later, the Alert Level was downgraded from Level IV to Level III, reducing the number of evacuees to 133,349 people in 383 camps. The Alert Level was raised again to Level IV on 27 November 2017, correspondingly widening the exclusion zone to 10km from the crater. The Alert Level has been lowered to Level III since 10 February 2018 and remains in place as this report was finalized.

Dozens of mild magmatic and phreatic eruptions have been recorded since then, with the last recorded activity on 26 January 2018. PVMBG stated that there was a drastic drop in volcanic activity in January 2018 compared to December 2017. According to seismic data collection, approximately 50 shallow earthquakes were recorded per day in December.

This went down to about 10 per day towards the beginning of January, and then reduced to 4 per day. The last recorded eruption was on 23 January. There were a few low to mild eruptions recorded by the end of February 2018.

Geographically, there are 22 villages located in the disaster-prone areas with a total population of 239,231 people. Given the prolonged duration of the emergency and with the instruction of the head of the district, the exclusion zone was reduced to 6km and may likely be reduced even further. The number of evacuees has also declined. By 26 February 2018, official records reported a total of 1,791 evacuees in 41 evacuation sites in Karangasem district.

While the Alert Level remains the same at Level III, there is a significant risk of eruption. This risk still requires mitigation by PMI and the authorities through Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities, and/or preparations for the safe return of evacuees.