Mt Agung eruption imminent in Bali

The Mount Agung volcano on Bali is entering a new phase and officials fear a major eruption is imminent, with a major nearby airport closed for the second day.

More than 1000 Kiwis are expected to have their travel plans affected, as steam blows ash clouds thousands of metres into the air.

Ash has been spewing out of Mt Agung for days. Now lava from within the volcano is visible by night.

It's raining in Bali, meaning rivers of ash mixed with rain water thick and heavy as cement are already running away from the volcano.

These lahars can become unstoppable, after a major eruption.

"The possibility of a large eruption is now very high," said Yuwono Sutopo from the National Disaster and Mitigation Agency.

"Some indications show there will indeed be an eruption. There are now explosions and eruptions, which can be heard and felt within a distance of 12 kilometres."

Among the 126 New Zealanders thought to be stuck in Bali, four young women are holidaying after finishing university.

"We were actually watching the eruption from a nearby volcano, which was amazing, but we didn't realise the ramifications it was [going to] have, when we were watching it, I guess," said one student.

The girls captured their experience on film, safe at a distance, but thinking of those who live below.

"We are worried for the people who live around there, and have property around there and things," said another.

"We were so afraid when we saw the smoke yesterday, so we have decided to leave," said a local.

One-hundred-thousand locals have been evacuated and a 10-kilometre exclusion zone remains in place around Mt Agung.

More than 1000 New Zealander travellers are expected to be impacted, both those in country and those heading to Bali in the next few weeks.

"Reach out to an expert, and those planning on going in the next few weeks may want to look at changing their dates or destination," said Flight Centre New Zealand general manager Sean Berenson.

The Insurance Council says some of those who purchased travel insurance after the first volcano alert in September may miss out on coverage.

"But you need to check with your insurer, because each provider will apply it differently," said CEO Tim Grafton.

The trapped students are hoping to get home on Monday for their university graduation.

But they also hope, for the sake of those living in Bali, that the volcano that's been resting for more than half a century stays that way.