Snakes and monkeys have reportedly begun fleeing the area around Mount Agung in their droves, in what locals claim is the strongest sign yet the Bali volcano will erupt, Daily Mail reported.
Located on the east of Indonesia’s main island, the volcano – which last erupted back in 1964 – has experienced a major increase in the rate of tremors over recent days.
Fearing an eruption is imminent, the nation’s authority raised the alert level up to the highest rating, leaving the holiday hotspot bracing for travel chaos should it explode.
But while tourists continue to flock to the Indonesian capital, thousands of animals in the area have fled down the mountain and into nearby villages – one of the top signs a volcano is set to erupt.
Among the other signs locals claim prove an eruption is imminent are ash rain which causes irritation on the skin.
Sogra Village elder and Balinese priest Wayan Sukra told local media Bali Tribun that the animals had been on the move for three days.
“Maybe because it’s hot on Mt. Agung. So the animals are exiting and coming to settled areas,” he said.
“It could be a sign that the mountain will erupt (because) this condition is not usual.” Sukra said a similar phenomenon took place during the 1963 eruption.
The 3,031-metre Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people and hurling ash as high as 10 kilometres.
The mountain, to the northeast of the tourist hotspot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.
The country of thousands of islands is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire,’ an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.
More than 7,000 of the evacuees were in the 840 square kilometre Karangasem district, which is home to about 408,000 people.