Mount Agung – Active Volcano, Holy Pilgrimage to Besakih Temple

If you’re the outspoken member of the Community you’re likely to get into trouble.

I have never been one to remain quiet.

I spent a significant amount of time in 2017 blogging about Mount Agung our active volcano whom I affectionately named The Big Fella.

I was accused of fear mongering, which I find amusing.

I became friends with a reader who decided to come for a vacation to Bali, after reading one of my creative blogs about our unpredictable mountain.

I made a point of letting my readers know that I am terrible at science, and quite frankly the technical compositions that make up our Big Fella sound like gibberish to me.

I have since learned that Mount Agung is a strato-volcano also known as a composite volcano, it didn’t surprise me at all to discover Mount Agung is amongst the powerful of all volcanos.

The eruptions from these types of volcanos may be a pyroclastic flow, rather than a flow of lava.

A pyroclastic flow is a superheated mixture of hot steam, ash, rock and dust.

A pyroclastic flow can travel down the sides of a volcano at very high speeds, with temperatures over 400 degrees celsius.

Composite volcanoes can rise over 8000 feet.

Our Holy Mountain woke up on December 30, 2018 and again on January 10, 2019 after being asleep while a entire five months during the series earthquakes that hit Lombok, which began in July last year.

Devy K Syahbana, the PVMBG’s head of Eastern Region Volcano Mitigation Subdivision said in January that Mount Agung had returned to its eruption phase before the Lombok Earthquake.

He further added a satellite report by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) in Darwin explained Bali’s Mount Agung eruption spewed volcanic ashes reaching more than 2,000 meters from its summit, or about 5,400 meters above sea level.

In a Press Release on March 17, 2019 The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation of the Geological Agency, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Recourses, said that after 54 years the holy Mount Agung had began his eruption on November 2017 and that activities are still happening.

Yes they are.

A few weeks back I made a holy pilgrimage to Pura Besakih Temple with my husband and niece. Although I was aware of the possibility of an eruption at any time, I was not aware of the masses of Balinese who where also making this holy pilgrimage.

Besakih Temple sits 1,000 metres high on the south-western slope of our Big Fella.

Basakih Temple is made up of over 86 temples. On the day we made our pilgrimage it seemed as though the entire Pasek clan from the Island of Bali had also decided to venture out.

This year a very special ceremony was taking place, known as Panca Wali Krama, a complicated process to give gratitude to the Gods, which only occurs once every ten years.

Panca Wali Krama is the second largest ritual that happens at Pura Besakih after Eka Dasa Rudra, which is held once every 100 years.

It was during the Eka Dasa Rudra t celebration in 1963 that the mighty Mount Agung erupted, miraculously the temple survived the devastating eruption at that time.

The thought did cross my mind about the possibility of an eruption as we waited in human a traffic jam for three hours to reach our ancestral temple. Then I remembered my faith and felt honoured to be part of such an auspicious spiritual journey.

Human traffic jam at Besakih

Holy Pilgrimage Panca Wali Krama at Besakih Temple Bali

Mount Agung has erupted several times since our pilgrimage.

Most recently only two nights ago.

21 April, 2019 at 6.55pm.  Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from BNPB tweeted.

A column of thick gray volcanic ash, leaning towards the West threw eruption material reaching 2,500 – 3,000 metres from the peak in all directions.

Mount Agung Eruption 21 April 2019.jpg

Photograph Mount Agung eruption 21 April, 2019 at 6.55pm photograph Sutopo Purwo Nugroho @twitter

Life goes on as normal here in Bali, the most recent eruption happened while I was sweating it out in an aerobics class with women in my village. We were oblivious of any showcasing from The Big Fella.

One thing I know for sure is that there has never been a more exciting time to visit Bali.

You never know what will transpire in any one day.

Aerobics in Bali

Aerobics with Ibu Ibu in a Balinese Village

Blessings always

Sharon x

Sharon Karyasa ©2019

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‘Volcano gatekeeper’ left homeless from Indonesian earthquakes

Thank you to Mangku Bon for continuing to serve our active volcano Mount Agung who I named the “Big Fella”.

I am sad that your home has been reduced to rubble, confident however that the Gods have a plan and we will rebuild, thanks to the generosity of hard working charity organisations on this magical Island of the Gods called Bali.

Mangku Bon’s story has catapulted my career as a freelance journalist onto another level and I am truly grateful.  News.com.au have given me the chance of a lifetime, my dreams are continuing to manifest daily.

Yayasan Solemen Indonesia are like angels to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Please give generously for the people who are suffering both on our beautiful Island of Bali and Lombok.

Please take a moment to read about their incredible work.

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Please give generously to Yayasan Solemen Indonesia 

Blessings always

Sharon xx

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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Lombok Earthquake – It was like Surfing on a Rubber Band

Three Australian mates were enjoying a steak at the Palate Café & Restaurant in Central Lombok last night when a devastating magnitude-7 Earthquake hit the holiday Island.

Businessman Michael Grossman from the coastal town of Torquay in Victoria Australia, described the sensation like he was surfing on a rubber band.

The three men remained calm when the quake began, Senior Constable Mark Jarman a Surfer from Victor Harbor in South Australia, checked his phone seeking information from an App called Earthquake, he was trying to ascertain what they were dealing with.

The information they were searching for was whether a Tsunami warning had been issued.

“That 13 minutes seemed like hours, it was total mayhem, I felt as though I was watching a movie as the scene unfolded before my eyes”, Michael said.

“The Earth started to shake, it was like surfing on land or riding a rubber band. The locals started to panic and run onto the street after the Earthquake didn’t stop, I knew we were dealing with something serious”.

Rather than evacuate, the three men made a decision to remain so they could help out by keeping people calm.

Thousands of tourists and locals were running onto the streets in panic, we felt it was necessary to do what we could the men explained.

“It was horrific witnessing what seemed like thousands of people, both locals and tourists in shock. People were crying and searching for loved ones, it was totally surreal”, Michael said.

Three Aussie Blokes in Lombok.jpg

From Left, Tony Coad, Michael Grossman & Mark Jarman

Finally after 13 long minutes my phone flashed the information we were seeking Mark said,

“No Tsunami Warning Issued”.

In true blue Aussie style Tony Coad also from Torquay declared,

“Okay then let’s have another Bintang, no need to evacuate to the hills”

 

Sharon Karyasa © 2018

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