Mount Agung and Pasific “Ring of Fire”

Indonesia postage stamp of Mount Agung

ITS–Mount Agung volcano on the island of Bali  has been ominously rumbling for nearly a month as it threatens a devastating eruption at any moment. The eruption alerts has been covered largely by various media mass, hence here we try to cover the general information on the Balinese sacred Mount.

Towering 3,033 metres above sea level, Mount Agung is the highest mountain on the island of Bali and the fifth highest volcano in the whole of Indonesia. Mount Agung has huge spiritual significance to the people of the island, and is home to the ‘Mother Temple’ of Besakih. Balinese legend has it that Agung was created when the Hindu God Pasupati split Mount Meru (the spiritual axis of the universe) and formed Mount Agung with a fragment.

Mount Agung last erupted in 1963 which left nearly 1,600 people dead. According to volcanologists, Mount Agung hurled ash as high as 20 kilometres when it erupted in 1963 and remained active for about a year. Lava from the volcano travelled as far as 7.5 kilometres while volcanic ash reached Jakarta (the capital city of Indonesia), which is about 1,000 kilometres away.

The Bali volcano and Bali itself are part of the Indonesian archipelago, a string of islands created by the subduction of the Indo-Australian plate underneath the Eurasian plate. Mount Agung is not the only volcano in the region threatening to erupt. Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. With over 100 volcanoes within the archipelago, Indonesia is geologically the most dangerous terrain globally.

Putu Suasta &  Made Sentana



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