\'A Really Scary Moment\': Kelowna, B.C. Woman Stranded In Bali During Eruption

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A Kelowna, B.C., woman's last-minute vacation to Bali, Indonesia has turned into a stressful exercise of watching and waiting as the area remains on high alert due to volcanic activity.

Gina Petrovich booked her trip to Bali on Nov. 17. Less than two hours after she arrived on Nov. 21, Mount Agung started spewing volcanic ash.

"Things aren't what I was expecting here, that's for sure," said Petrovich.

"You're kind of on pins and needles. You carry on as normal ... but in the back of my mind, I keep thinking, is this going to happen? It's pretty intense."

The area remains on its highest alert level as authorities prepare for a possible major volcanic eruption. 

Thousands of people living near the volcano have been ordered to evacuate. The airport has also since closed for safety reasons, stranding thousands of travellers, including Petrovich.

Tourists buying face masks, extra food

"Half an hour ago, I was informed that my flight home was cancelled."

When she booked her trip, Petrovich said there were no travel advisories affecting Indonesia on the Government of Canada website.

Since then, her hotel has warned guests to prepare for sudden earthquake activity "along with intense volcanic action." 

Gina Petrovich Bali

Petrovich booked her trip to Bali at the last minute and before travel advisories were issued. (Gina Petrovich)

"Yesterday was probably my biggest moment of panic. There was also a massive thunderstorm at the time, so it was a really scary moment," she said.

"There are people buying extra food just in case this eruption happens, which they're calling imminent. It could happen at any moment."

Many guests are also buying face masks to prepare for poor air quality, she said.

'It was really alarming to actually see it'

On Monday, Petrovich hiked to a nearby volcano about 16 kilometres away to get a better look at Mount Agung.

She described seeing billowing smoke, red light and ash trailing in every direction.

"It was really alarming to actually see it from that close. That area is now considered in the danger zone."

Petrovich said the Canadian Embassy has informed her of what safety precautions to take in the event of a full eruption. 

Canadians in Bali are now being urged to stay in regular contact with loved ones and to track the volcano's status online.

Petrovich starts a new job in Kelowna next week, but is uncertain if she will make it back in time.

"It's not looking promising. I don't want to be that girl that couldn't start on time because she was stuck in a volcano in Bali."

Gina Petrovich Bali volcano

"You're kind of on pins and needles. It's pretty intense," says Petrovich of a possible imminent eruption. (Gina Petrovich)

With files from CBC's Daybreak South

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'A really scary moment': Kelowna, B.C. woman stranded in Bali during eruption
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