JAKARTA, Indonesia -- All Malaysian students are reported to be safe in Bali where a volcano has been rumbling over the past week and spewing ash that has forced the closure of the airport on the tourist island.

Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said Monday 155 Malaysians were pursuing medicine at Universitas Udayana in Bali.

So far there have been no reports of Malaysian students and nationals having been affected by untoward incidents following the explosions at the Mt Agung volcano that have prompted the authorities to raise the alert to level four, he said.

He also said that the embassy was identifying the number of Malaysians, besides students, who were visiting Bali privately or as tourists.

The Embassy of Malaysia suggests that Malaysians who do not have important business in Bali to postpone their trip, he said.

Zahrain said Malaysians now in Bali were advised to constantly inform the Embassy of Malaysia (tel: 62215224047 or 6281380813036) in Indonesia of their location.

Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre raised the status from level three (standby) to level four (caution) as the volcano continued to spew more ash following the first minor eruption on Nov 21.

Local online media reported that several explosions were heard on the weekend, and the volcano spewed ash as high as 3,000 metres. They said the exclusion zone had been extended by two more kilometres to eight kilometres away from the crater.

The centre said a major eruption was expected.


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