Mount Agung volcano erupts as seen from Kubu, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
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The question Indonesian volcanologist Devy Kamil Syahbana gets most is the one he cannot answer – when, or if, rumbling Mount Agung on Bali island will blow in a major eruption. The 3,000 meters Agung – a so-called stratovolcano capable of very violent eruptions – has recorded a sharp rise in activity that has prompted worries about a repeat of a 1963 eruption that killed more than 1,000 people.Syahbana has surveyed and installed instruments on many of the most active ones, including Mount Merapi on Java island, to the west of Bali, and on Mount Sinabung in the north of Sumatra island.His team of 16 scientists takes six-hour shifts to monitor seismic stations on Agung that record tremors deep inside the mountain, GPS trackers that record changes in land features and closed-circuit TV cameras that provide 24-hour surveillance.According to survivors, that eruption was preceded by earthquakes, volcanic mudflows and ashfall – all signs that Mount Agung is showing again now, said Syahbana.
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