Bali airport closure extended due to volcanic ash eruption

Volcanic Eruption , Bali
Image Credit : Tweeted by CGTN ‏account @CGTNOfficial

Jakarta, Nov 28: Indonesian authorities on Tuesday extended the closure of Bali’s main airport for a further 24 hours amid fears of an imminent major eruption of the island’s Mount Agung volcano.

“The closure of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is extended. The airport is closed until Wednesday… Evaluations continue to be made by the airport authorities,” director of information for the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said in a statement, news agency IANS quoted.

Nugroho also highlighted that Agung continues to erupt and spew water vapour and ash between 2,000 and 3,400 metres high above the crater, in addition to the seismic activity in the area, reports Efe news.

A report from the local aviation authority indicated that “the plane routes have been covered by volcanic ash”, which could affect the engines of the carrier and lead to an accident.

Yesterday, the airport cancelled 445 domestic and international flights, leaving at least 59,000 passengers stranded.

The authorities reported on Monday that they planned to evacuate between 90,000 and 100,000 people living in a safety radius of 10 km around Mount Agung, after the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) raised the eruption alert to the peak level.

At least 22 towns near the mountain have been affected by the ash, and following this the authorities have suggested the use of protective masks for the population.

Located in the east of the island, in Karangasem district, Mount Agung is far away from most tourist attractions.

This is Mount Agung’s first volcanic eruption since 1963, when the ejection of magma lasted almost a year and claimed more than 1,100 lives.

According to official data, Bali is the main tourist destination in Indonesia, with an annual influx of around 5.4 million foreign tourists.

Wefornews Bureau 

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