Nearly 135,000 people on the Indonesian island of Bali have left their homes and taken shelter in makeshift evacuation centres after warnings the Mount Agung volcano could erupt at any time, officials said late on Thursday.

Spewing white smoke and sending tremors through the area, Mount Agung’s alert status was raised to the highest level last week. Since then, tens of thousands of villagers have abandoned their homes beneath the menacing volcano.

The national disaster management agency said many people have fled because they are unsure of their proximity to a 12 km (seven miles) exclusion zone imposed around the crater.

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