Insta-crass or a once-in-lifetime picture? Tourists pose for selfies wearing bikinis and doing handstands in front of Bali's erupting Mt Agung – as locals fear for their lives and livelihoods

  • Tourists have begun posting selfies in front of Bali's Mount Agung volcano
  • Many photos show the smoking volcano in the background, as locals flee
  • Posing in protective smoke masks or at the Lempunyang Temple are popular
  • Over 100,000 locals are currently displaced as a 10km exclusion zone remains
  • The alert warning remains at a maximum as the international airport reopened

As Bali's Mount Agung threatens to erupt and locals fear for their lives, Instagram has been flooded with selfies of tourists posing in front of the volcano.

Mount Agung has been spewing black columns of volcanic ash for more than a week, creating a dramatic skyline over the area - which is part of one of the world's most popular resort islands.

The ash cloud has caused travel chaos, with some flights from Australia and other places being delayed or cancelled altogether and leaving some travellers stranded.

Instagram has been flooded with selfies of tourists posing in front of Bali's Mount Agung volcano

Instagram has been flooded with selfies of tourists posing in front of Bali's Mount Agung volcano

The tropical paradise is a selfie-loving tourist's dream at the best of times. The erupting volcano has added another layer of interest.

But is it insensitive for tourists to use the volcano as a backdrop for their holiday snaps??

More than 100,000 locals remain displaced as the volcano emits a bright orange glow around its crater and gushes ash as high as 7,600m into the air.

Hundreds of photos have emerged on the photo sharing platform, showing tourists taking selfies with the violent volcano in the background.

Tourists have posed from their resorts and hotels, overlooking the violent volcano

Tourists have posed from their resorts and hotels, overlooking the violent volcano

An exclusion zone of 10km remains in place as tourists pose from a safe distance

An exclusion zone of 10km remains in place as tourists pose from a safe distance

A couple wearing masks over their faces to protect from the ash and smoke pose with Mount Agung in the background

A couple wearing masks over their faces to protect from the ash and smoke pose with Mount Agung in the background

Many have posed in front of the Lempuyang Temple, or 'Gates of Heaven', as ash and smoke can be seen gushing from Mount Agung.?

Many of the photos have been captioned as a 'once in a lifetime' shot.

Australian woman Jill Powers told Daily Mail Australia she wanted to travel to Bali to witness the active volcano herself.

'Sounds stupid but yes, I have it on my bucket list to see a live volcano,' Ms Powers said.

'I think it would be my only chance to tick it off.'

Many have posed in front of the Lempuyang Temple, or 'Gates of Heaven', as ash and smoke can be seen gushing from Mount Agung

Many have posed in front of the Lempuyang Temple, or 'Gates of Heaven', as ash and smoke can be seen gushing from Mount Agung

One woman practices her yoga as ash clouds from the smoking volcano can be seen in the background

One woman practices her yoga as ash clouds from the smoking volcano can be seen in the background

Two friends wearing masks pose in their bikini's from a safe distance from ash and smoke

Two friends wearing masks pose in their bikini's from a safe distance from ash and smoke

The last time Mount Agung erupted, more than 1,100 people were killed.

Survivors of the 1963 eruption have been haunted by the memories of the horrific event as the volcano continues to be active this week.?

On Monday, authorities ordered residents living near the volcano to evacuate the area immediately, warning that the first major eruption in 54 years could be 'imminent'.?

Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people living nearby.

The alert level remains at a maximum.?

One woman holds up the peace sign in front of the smoking Mount Agung in Bali

One woman holds up the peace sign in front of the smoking Mount Agung in Bali

Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people

Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people

An Instagram user posts a photo with their morning cup of coffee as the volcano spits ash

An Instagram user posts a photo with their morning cup of coffee as the volcano spits ash

An 8-10 km exclusion zone was imposed around the summit, as tourists pose from safe distances.

The smoke and ash from Mount Agung wrecked havoc on flights in and out of Bali.

The international airport has since reopened and stranded tourists have begun trickling home, but the prospects for displaced locals remain grim.?

Local man Nengah Sedeng says he was just seven years old when the volcano's 1963 eruption killed about 1,100 people.

He has had to evacuate his home at Besakih on the slopes of Mt Agung to sleep in dilapidated classrooms in Bangli, about 20km south of the volcano.

He recalls crying and running away from the 1963 eruption with his family as lava, rock and ash rained down on them.

Many of the photos have been captioned as a 'once in a lifetime' shot with the smoking volcano

Many of the photos have been captioned as a 'once in a lifetime' shot with the smoking volcano

A woman and a dog are snapped staring at the rumbling volcano as it spews smoke and ash

A woman and a dog are snapped staring at the rumbling volcano as it spews smoke and ash

One man practices his handstand skills in front of Bali's smoking Mount Agung

One man practices his handstand skills in front of Bali's smoking Mount Agung

'I remember walking down [away from the volcano], and I really don't want to stay [at Mount Agung] again,' Mr Sedeng told AAP.??

The four-year-old daughter of local man Komang Hendra's is an early victim of the roaring Mt Agung.

He said the volcanic ash has wreaked havoc on her asthma and forced her to hospital every week for the past month.

Figures from the airport showed 23 flights, mostly domestic, carried about 1600 passengers out on Wednesday.?

The Disaster Mitigation Agency said the ash plume was rising about 2000 metres above the crater, about half its previous height.??

Flights are unlikely to return to normal levels any time soon and a change in the direction of the ash or a new more powerful eruption could force the airport's closure again.

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