On this day March 17, 1963
Mount Agung erupts on Bali, as 11,000 die. On February 18, 1963, local residents heard loud explosions and saw clouds rising from the crater of Mount Agung.
On February 24, lava began flowing down the northern slope of the mountain, eventually traveling 7 km in the next 20 days. On March 17, the volcano erupted, sending debris 8-10 km into the air and generating massive pyroclastic flows.
These flows devastated numerous villages, killing approximately 1500 people. Cold lahars caused by heavy rainfall after the eruption killed an additional 200. A second eruption on May 16 led to pyroclastic flows which killed another 200 inhabitants.
The lava flows missed, sometimes by mere yards, the Mother Temple of Besakih. The saving of the temple is regarded by the Balinese people as miraculous and a signal from the gods that they wished to demonstrate their power but not destroy the monument the Balinese faithful had erected.