Fear For Abandoned Animals & People Grows In Bali As The Eruption Of Mount Agung Is Imminent

Photos from Bali Animal Welfare Association

Bali remains on high alert as the first major eruption of Mount Agung in 54 years is believed to be imminent.

According to Indonesia’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), an estimated 100,000 locals living in the danger zone near Mount Agung were urged to evacuate yesterday after the alert was raised to level 4, the highest level possible.

An official statement reported that Mount Agung began erupting on Saturday, spewing clouds of ash reportedly reaching as high as 30,000 feet.

Meanwhile, Indonesian authorities have also closed Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar leaving thousands of tourists stranded.

Yet on Tuesday, according to a report in the Sunday Morning Herald, “life continued largely as normal in villages surrounding Agung” despite the fact that the volcano’s last eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people. Many of the residents do not want to leave their homes and farms over concern for their animals.

The level 4 alert was first raised two months ago when a rash of seismic activity was detected at the mountain. At that time, thousands of people did evacuate their homes, many sadly leaving their livestock behind or selling them for a fraction of the price.

As evacuees filled temporary shelters or moved somewhere safe, many animals, including wild monkeys, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, and cows, were sadly left helpless in the danger zone.

Fortunately, aided by the government and Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, trained volunteers made dangerous trips into the red zone, to rescue and relocate many of the abandoned animals to shelters in surrounding areas.

At the time, according to Natakusuma, a coordinator of a government livestock rescue team, some farmers were sleeping at evacuation centers but returning to tend to their cattle during the day.

Space to house a wide range of animals from pets to livestock was a pressing issue in September. With the threat of Mount Agung erupting again, so must be the concern for the tens of thousands of innocent animals that call Bali home.

“There is no fresh water and often no shelter. Please donate to help us set up safe shelters and add on to our existing shelters,” Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) stated on their Facebook page.  We have three shelters in the safe zone but need more structures immediately.”

Bali Animal Welfare Association also noted on their website that they are in urgent need of funds and supplies. More information and ways people can help or donate is available HERE!

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