LOCALS living in the shadow of Bali’s volcano are fearing for their lives as tourists pose for selfies in bikinis and do handstands in front of the erupting Mount Agung.
The eruption has forced more than 43,000 people to flee their homes with another 60,000 people ordered to evacuate immediately.
The international airport on the island was closed for almost three days with hundreds of flights cancelled leaving thousands stranded.
And cold lava, known as lahar, has swept into towns and villages in the volcano’s summit, bursting riverbanks and leaving streams black with volcanic ash and debris.
But despite the national disaster, for some tourists the eruption is an opportunity to take a once-in-a-lifetime photo for social media.
Instagram has been flooded this week with posts from people posing for the camera in front of smoke clouds rising from the volcano.
Many have posted photos using the volcano’s smoke as a backdrop with captions that sing nature’s praises.
In one photo, user Karina Kapris poses between the ornate Lempuyang Temple, or 'Gates of Heaven', with the erupting Agung in that background, tinged with a blue and purple hue.
She posted the photo online with the caption: “That’s what I call a once in a lifetime photo.”
In another, a woman sits meditating on a grassy verge, while ash clouds billow out the 3,000metre tall mountain behind her.
Some have used the chance to post a photo with their loved one, with one picture showing a couple - both wearing gas masks - embracing as the eruption unfolds behind them.
Others acknowledge the potentially scary situation, but say the view is worth any fear.
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