Hot Smoke Rush Worries Mountain Village

DENPASAR
The Bali Times

MYSTERIOUS smoke that suddenly burst from the ground at Tajun, a mountain village near Sembiran in Buleleng, last Sunday is under close scrutiny from scientists and the provincial government.

“The research involves various stakeholders, including geologists to determine with certainty the natural phenomenon,” spokesman I Ketut Teneng said this week.

He said he hoped the Tajun community would stay calm and remain vigilant. “We ask residents not to be nervous, because this reduces vigilance,” he said.

Hot white smoke suddenly appeared about 7am last Sunday. Local leaders were called to the scene. Villagers said they feared an event such as the mud volcano that destroyed much of Sidoarjo in East Java.

Local sculptor Made Sutrawan and some of his employees first witnessed the event. The smoke emerged from under concrete pillars at their workshop, where they make statues from volcanic rock in the area.

Sutrawan said he tried to find the source of the smoke by digging into the ground about 50cm. “The smoke became increasingly hot, so I did not dare to continue the dig.”

One resident tried to put the unusual event to good use. He put an egg in a small saucepan over the smoke. He reported that the egg took an hour to cook.

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