Last night, those warnings came to a head, as the peak of the volcano began to spew plumes of noxious smoke into the air.
"There is already ash fall".
A spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation agency, said via a text message that there had been a "phreatic eruption" late on Tuesday with black smoke reaching 700 meters (2,300 ft), followed by falling ash, gravel and sand.
Some 30,000 people remain displaced, officials said.
The volcano has been rumbling intermittently for a number of months.
The alert level remains at three after it was downgraded from the maximum level of four on October 29.
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Australia left its travel advice unchanged and told citizens to "monitor local media reports, follow the instructions of local authorities, and stay outside the existing exclusion zone".
"At this point this is very, very small", tweeted New Zealand volcanologist Dr Janine Krippner.
Many local residents are said to now be living in shelters.
"Time to make sure you are prepared and keep an eye on official Agung information".
Indonesia lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.
The island's aviation alert has been increased to orange as per procedure but the busy global airport remains open.
The disaster management agency said there were 29,000 evacuees living in shelters around the volcano - well down from more than 150,000 people who were living in the shelters in September, when the volcano first showed signs of eruption.