Stunning Images Show Bali Volcano Spewing Ash 2 Miles Into Air

A massive volcano eruption spewed a giant ash mushroom cloud into the sky on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, local officials reported Friday, causing flight cancellations to and from the island and diverting flights over the area to nearby Australia, but thankfully didn't result in any known casualties.

Mount Agung volcano was described by Reuters as shooting lava and and hail of rocks at a distance of about 2 miles. Despite an ash column rising some 3,000 meters into the air, impacting the air over dozens of villages, the latest volcanic activity did not cause an evacuation of the island. 

Mount Agung volcano erupts in Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia, May 24, 2019. Image source: social media via Reuters

Bali authorities said they've prepared 50,000 masks to have on hand as a precaution for the tropical island that attracts over 5 million tourists a year. 

Agung has been closely monitored, especially since late 2017 when authorities raised the alert level, noticing a spike in activity and lava flows. The volcano has produced an increase in smaller-scale eruptions since then. 

Mount Agung erupting Friday. Image source: BackGrid

Caution has been geared toward an early warning system and smooth evacuation that could prevent another tragedy similar to the major 1963 eruption, which had killed over 1,000 people and destroyed many villages.

The dramatic moment of Mount Agung's eruption on Friday was caught on video by monitors.

A 2017 evacuation had reportedly caused chaos as locals and tourists alike attempted to hastily exit the island at the same time.

The 2017 eruption caused authorities to attempt the evacuation of over 100,000 people, which soon turned into a logistics nightmare for emergency and transportation personnel. 

Image source: AFP

Emergency authorities typically monitor the volcano's crater looking to see if steam-based eruptions turn to magmatic eruptions, considered more serious, which would lead to evacuations.