Wednesday, 17 October, 2018


Bali reopens airport after volcano eruption strands tourists

Mount Agung is spewing ash 2000 metres into the air. Source AAPMore Mount Agung is spewing ash 2000 metres into the air. Source AAPMore
Bennie Garza | 03 July, 2018, 04:44

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the airport closure began early Friday.

The early morning closure sparked the cancellation of more than 300 flights, affecting almost 27,000 passengers. The regional volcanic ash advisory centre in Darwin said winds could carry the ash southwest toward Bali's global airport and Java, Indonesia's most densely populated island. Ash can clog aircraft engines and cause them to "flame out".

Despite the eruption the volcano's status has not been raised by Indonesia's volcanology agency and remained at alert level, while the Volcano Observatory Notice For Aviation has issued an orange level warning.

Mt. Agung's fresh eruption Thursday has affected at least 446 domestic and global flights.

Agung began a phase of volcanic activity on November 21, 2017, which had forced the closure of the airport, located 60 km to the south of the volcano, affecting more than 100,000 passengers. Authorities lowered its alert status from the highest level in February.

Indonesia sits on the "Pacific Ring of Fire", areas of volcanic activity that mark the edges of the Pacific Ocean. Government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.

Jetstar said in a 7pm update Friday: "Flying conditions around Denpasar Airport have improved and the airport has reopened".

More than 38,000 local residents were evacuated to shelters and a 12km exclusive zone placed around the volcano, which is 70km from Kuta.

Ahsanurrohim told Channel News Asia that Jetstar canceled 14 flights after the eruption.

The morning cancellations were in addition to flights axed by AirAsia, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia on Thursday night. "We just miss the kids", he added.

On Thursday, Agung emitted a plume of smoke about 5,000 feet above its peak, heading west, the Jakarta Post reported.

Agung's last major eruption in 1963 killed around 1,600 people.

"We will try our best to find a solution so all visitors can continue their trip", Made Mangku Pastika said.

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