Mount Agung: Footage emerges of people walking to volcano summit amid eruption fears

Mount Agung: Footage emerges of people walking to volcano summit amid eruption fears

Mount Agung: Footage emerges of people walking to volcano summit amid eruption fears

Updated 1 October 2017, 7:25 AEDT

Priests can be seen venturing to the peak of Bali's Mount Agung volcano ahead of its expected eruption in a video being shared on social media, prompting condemnation from local authorities.

Evidence has emerged on social media of three Indonesian priests venturing to the peak of Bali's Mount Agung volcano ahead of its expected eruption.

The videos shared on Facebook show the men standing near the crater where steam can be seen rising.

The area has been evacuated, with a 12 kilometre exclusion zone in place from the summit.

More than 100,000 people have taken shelter in evacuation centres in Bali as Mount Agung is expected to erupt at any time.

Indonesian authorities have condemned the actions of the men and said it was extremely irresponsible.

They are concerned it may provoke copy-cat behaviour in an area where no one should be entering until it is deemed safe.

Evacuees outside danger zone told to go home

The disaster agency said more than 144,000 people have now left areas around the volcano, including from places outside the immediate danger zone.

But Bali's Governor, Made Mangku Pastika, urged people from officially safe areas — more than 75,000 people by his estimate — to return home.

He said there was no reason for them to evacuate and they have become a "burden" on genuine evacuees and the temporary shelters set up to receive them.

Authorities can use village registration details to identify official evacuees, he said.

Near the edges of the danger zone some hamlets appeared devoid of people but daily life has continued in others.

"We don't know what's going to happen. We can't predict anything," Wayan Sudarma, a villager who still returns to the mountain to help evacuate cattle, said.

He said he was not afraid despite the risks.

Volcanologists say the past week's dramatic escalation in tremors indicates an eruption is more likely than not, but they cannot say with certainty when it will happen.

ABC/Reuters