Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Ash From New Volcanic Eruptions Closes Bali's Airport

Ash From New Volcanic Eruptions Closes Bali's Airport

The popular Indonesian tourist island of Bali has closed its global airport after Mount Agung volcano began spewing volcanic ash and vapor higher than two kilometers (6,500 feet) into the air.

"Based on current advice, Bali airport will remain closed until 7pm local time, while weather conditions are reviewed", Smarttraveller reported.

Mount Agung rumbled back to life past year and has been erupting periodically since.

Indonesia's second-busiest airport will stay shut until at least 7pm local time on Friday, with 85 global flights and 191 domestic flights cancelled, affecting almost 16,000 people, airport authorities said.

It added that winds could carry the ash southwest toward Bali's worldwide airport and Java, Indonesia's most densely populated island.

But at time of publication, Jetstar listed its Friday evening flights from Melbourne as "on-time" on its flight status page after Denpasar airport confirmed it had reopened.

Talking more about the Volcano eruption, the regional volcanic ash advisory centre in Australia's Darwin said that in the coming days winds could carry the ash southwest toward Java which is popularly known for Indonesia's most densely island.

It had a dramatic increase in activity last year, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, but had quietened by early this year.

Mount Agung is about 70 kilometres northeast of Bali tourist hotspot Kuta.

"Safety remains the main reason for the decision to close the airport", disaster management spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement. Those missed flights have been re-booked to leave tomorrow morning.

Among the airlines serving the resort island, Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya and Indonesia Air Asia said they were working to help stranded passengers.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

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