News of Mount Agung ‘s “imminent eruption” has spread quickly around the world, whilst those on the island wait with calm but fearful anticipation. However, with evacuations at their highest level now in the area, refugees are the immediate focus for communities in Bali.
A sleepy Mount Agung, seemingly peaceful
Magma rising through the rocks of the mountain has caused hundreds of tremors in the surrounding vicinity (some reported feeling faint tremors in Ubud) – one of the signs that an eruption could be near. Animals like snakes and monkeys have been reported feeling from the mountain, fearful of the growing tremors.
With such telling signs, local authorities have taken appropriate action and raised the highest alert as of Friday, 22 September 2017. Now the evacuation zone has reached a 12km radius around Mount Agung and 48,500+ people have been evacuated from their homes. [Update on 27 September is 96,000 refugees]
Gunung Agung Refugees, photos provided by East Bali Poverty Project
Are the evacuations necessary?
Judging from the last Mount Agung eruption in 1963 – a VEI 5 eruption which caused the deaths of 1100 people, all from deadly pyroclastic flows, volcanic bombs and some effects of heavy ash cloud – removing people from dangerous areas is the best way to mitigate and/or reduce a death toll from a potential eruption. Of course, evacuations can be controversial as there is a likelihood an eruption does not occur – an outcome everyone in Bali is hoping for.
Whilst certainly a smart safety precaution it still means thousand of people are away from their homes, their farms, livestock, etc. and are now living in tent-towns, make-shift shelters and communal halls in surrounding areas from Klungkung, to North Bali.
Whilst the mountain rumbles indecisively, people on the island have turned their focus on caring for the evacuees who are left with dwindling supplies in their new shelters. Luckily for them, many, many groups, communities and volunteers are lending a hand.
Supplies needed, photo by @kartikadewisuardana (IG)
How can you help?
There are now many groups helping to get supplies to different refugees around Bali – as they are all spread into the different regions surrounding the evacuation zone. Whether you’re in Bali or elsewhere, you can help. Here we have listed ways you can donate:
1. East Bali Poverty Project (Donation)
A reputable charity here in Bali that works on the slopes of the mountain. they are collecting donations to buy supplies for refugee camps in North Bali where there are over 20,000 [23 Septmber] people taking shelter. Their team are on site. They need essential supplies for children, elderly, sick, disabled and pregnant. Donations can be given by bank transfer, paypal or via the crowdfunding page. Go to www.eastbalipovertyproject.org for details.
2. Nazava Filters (Donation)
As with any natural disaster relief, water is a main priority. Nazava are filters that eliminate bacteria, viruses and parasites, making tap or even river water to drinking water and will certainly come in useful whilst water levels might be low. One filter can make enough water for 8 people. Donate now through their crowdfunding: http://bit.ly/2hMZ2JI
3. Bali Children’s Project (Donation)
Focused on the welfare of children BCP have been watching the families of their children as they move to evacuation zones. They have identified many needs including clothes, blankets, baby food and milk and normal supplies. You can donate here: http://balichildrensproject.org/mount-agung-appeal/
4. I Am An Angel (Supply Drop)
The I am an Angel group known for their huge charity event in Ku De Ta have opened a drop off point for anyone local who wants to drop supplies. They are looking for: bags of rice, long lasting vegetables (long beans, garlic, etc), childrens toys, coffee/tea, sanitary napkins, diapers, eggs, old mats for baby and old mats or mattresses. Drop off is BUCU Cafe in Umalas (next truck to be announced).
Donations also available (contact @agustinabali on IG)
5. Kopernik (Donation)
Kopernik is also helping with purchasing and transporting the Nazava water filters, along with hygiene kits and food. You can donate here: https://kopernik.info/project/mount-agung-emergency-response-three
What are the best supplies to donate?
Water galons, rice, cooking utensils, water pumps, personal hygiene (from soaps, to lady’s tampons, diapers etc), long lasting vegetables, eggs, ropes, torches and batteries, spices for food, children’s books and normal books for adults, any toys for children.
Please try to avoid sending instant noodles as the MSG has been reported to cause coughs amongst the younger children. Whole foods are best.