Published: Mon, November 27, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Flights disrupted as Bali volcano spews ash

Flights disrupted as Bali volcano spews ash

Per NPR, volcanologist Gede Suantika told Reuters "The activity of Mount Agung has entered the magmatic eruption phase, it is still spewing ash at the moment, but we need to monitor and be cautious over the possibility of a strong, explosive eruption".

"The flights will resume after the situation is back to normal", Hengki said.

The alert status remains at level 3, the second-highest level.

Mount Agung, which has been experiencing increased activity since Tuesday, erupted for the second time on Saturday.

On Saturday, four airlines made a decision to ground at least 16 of their flights because of the increasing activity of the volcano in the afternoon. The alert was lowered on October 29 after a decrease in activity.

The danger zone around Agung was also reduced from a radius of 9 to 12km from the peak in different areas, to a radius of 6 to 7.5km.

Israwadi, corporate secretary of airport authority PT Angkasa Pura 1 which supervises Bali's Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) worldwide airport, said pilots flying over Bali reported the ash being spewed out was not endangering flights.

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Residents were evacuated from 224 points around the island while Lombok International Airport on Pulau Lombok, the island due east of Bali, has closed temporarily, said Ari Ahsan, spokesman for Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.

"The airport still operates normally".

While the airport remains in operation, several major carriers have cancelled flights.

Ayu Mas Sumantri, a top official of Karangasem Regency where the volcano is located, called on the people of Bali "not to be afraid and panic".

"Tourism in Bali is still safe, except in the danger (zone) around Mount Agung", the agency said in a statement.

Staff at Indonesia's volcano monitoring centre said it was not just pulverised rock being blown out of Mt Agung, but magma has now reached the volcano's surface.

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