Mount Agung spews ash 2500m into the air, forcing the closure of Indonesia’s second-biggest airport.
The restless volcano on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, Mount Agung, has erupted again spewing smoke and ash more than 2,500 metres above its summit into the air. It follows an eruption late last year.
Concerns about the volcanic ash getting into the engines of aircraft triggered a slew of flight cancellations to and from the island’s main airport – and then the closure of the airport itself.
The ash is being blown to the northwest of the mountain, forcing the airport authority to close Ngurah Rai International Airport at 03:00 local time today, until 19:00.
However, a decision was made during the day to reopen it and some flights are operating.
Hundreds of flights
Officials say that the airport’s operations – Indonesia’s second busiest – will be reviewed every few hours. So far, 115 international and 203 domestic flights have been axed, affecting nearly 27,000 travellers.
Passengers are being advised to monitor the situation and contact airlines on their flight status.
“We’re monitoring the eruption,” said a spokesman for airport operator Angkasa Pura. “The airport could be closed again if the eruption affects flight safety.”
Airlines take care to avoid flying through volcanic ash as it can damage aircraft engines, clog up fuel and cooling systems and hamper visibility.
Coincidentally, the Bali & Beyond Travel Fair is ongoing and ends on June 30. Business appears to be continuing as usual on the mart floor, TTG Asia reports.