Will Mount Agung erupt? Could the eruption be just hours away?

Will Mount Agung erupt? Could the eruption be just hours away?

The volcano last erupted in 1963 when it killed 1,100 people.

Residents, tourists and climbers are being told to stay far away from Mount Agung, a large volcano in Bali where hundreds of shallow volcanic earthquakes have been recorded in recent days.

President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit the evacuees at several camps on Tuesday.

After the eruption, it remained active for about a year.

Still, there is no guarantee that the volcano will erupt, he said.

More than 57,000 people, including Catholic families, have been evacuated from their homes in Bali after local authorities increased the alert status of the island's biggest volcano Mount Agung to the highest level.

Hundreds of domestic and global flights were disrupted in 2016 when a volcano erupted on Bali's neighbouring Lombok island, sending up columns of ash and debris.

Mount Agung volcano is seen in Amed, Bali on September 26.

Almost 50,000 people have fled the Mount Agung volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali with experts predicting an eruption is imminent and Virgin says it has had to take precautionary measures.

"Even with all the signs and calculation we have today no one can tell when is the eruption will occur", said Surono, an expert of volcanology and former head of Indonesia Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center.

Mount Agung is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia - an archipelago prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes as it sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire". The airport remains open, although there are plans in place if the volcano does erupt.

The UK, Australia and the United States are among several countries that have issued travel advisories in recent days, warning that volcanic activity on Agung could interfere with travel plans.

Airlines in Australia and Singapore said they were preparing for any possible disruptions due to an eruption, but flights were running normally for now.

Australians are being advised to check with their airline before flying and to follow all authorities and hotel staff instruction if travelling to Bali.

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