More than 34,000 flee Bali volcano amid eruption fears

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BALI, Indonesia – Officials say more than 34,000 people have fled the region around a volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing it will erupt for the first time in more than half a century.

The number Sunday from a disaster emergency task force is more than double previous estimates. It includes people who left voluntarily as well as those ordered to evacuate from a 9-12 kilometer (6-8 mile) zone around Mount Agung.

Authorities raised the volcano's alert status to the highest level Friday following a "tremendous increase" in seismic activity. Its last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency has praised the welcoming response of local communities on Bali to the flood of evacuees.

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