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Bali on maximum volcano alert

Bali's Mount Agung: thousands of residents ordered to evacuate and hundreds of flights cancelled amid fears of a major eruption

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Bali on maximum volcano alert

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Indonesia has raised its alert level for Bali's Mount Agung volcano - the highest possible - after further eruptions over the weekend.

Amid fears of an "imminent" explosion, authorities said rays of fire and magma are increasingly visible from night to day.

Continuing plumes of smoke are accompanied by blasts that can be heard up to 12 kilometres from Agung's peak.

The volcano has been spewing columns of ash with increasing ferocity since last Tuesday.

Amateur footage taken near the mountainside showed cold lava flows.

Around 40,000 people have so far been forced to evacuate a 10 kilometre radius around Mount Agung with authorities ordering another 60,000 to leave as the Volcano shifts into magmatic phase.

Sutopo Yuwono, spokesman for Indonesia's National disaster and Mitigation Agency said: "Officers will continue to search for all the villages in the danger zone to request and even force them to evacuate. Since the 25th November, residents have been asked to go to an evacuation post."

Hundreds of flights have been disrupted by the Volcano stranding nearly 60,000 travellers on Bali.

The top tourist destination pulls in around 5 million visitors a year.