BALI, INDONESIA, September 22, 2017 (Coconuts Bali): Balinese Hindus have been conducting a number of ceremonies at Mt. Agung, trying to prevent a deadly eruption from the volcano, while Muslims across the island have been getting together and likewise praying that the island is spared from a great natural disaster. Agung, a volcano located in Karangasem, Bali, has shown increased activity with its alert status getting upgraded two times in the past week. Local residents living near the volcano have been evacuated in anticipation of a possible eruption. To make everyone a little more tense, a 5.7 earthquake was detected in the Java Sea, northwest of Bali, on Wednesday night, triggering a tsunami warning.
Agung, the highest peak on the island, holds a special place in the hearts of Balinese. The volcano is regarded as sacred and is often the site of religious ceremonies. Late on Wednesday, a Tilem — or new moon — ceremony was conducted by Balinese Hindu communities around the island, while a larger ceremony was also held at Bali’s mother temple, Besakih, on the slopes the volcano. The ceremony at Besakih was held by the provincial government of Bali. The governor, Made Mangku Pastika was even present. The governor said he encourages people of all religions to pray that Agung does not erupt.