Bali Volcano : Indonesian airports remain shut

Bali Volcanic Eruption
Image : AFP

Jakarta, Nov 29: Indonesian airports continued to remain closed for a third day on Wednesday, as Mount Agung has spewed smoke and ash  7,600 metre high into the sky.

The Ngurah Rai International Airport remain shut with more than 100,000 passengers left stranded so far, Efe news reported, news agency IANS quoted.

According to official sources, experts believe the volcano may see a greater eruption.

The General Manager of Bali airport operator Angkasa Pura, Yunus Suprayogi, said in a statement because of the volcanic ash, the airport would halt operations until at least Thursday morning.

On the first two days of the Bali airport closure around 900 flights were cancelled, with 445 on November 27 and 443 on November 28, in addition to 31 others at the airport on the island of Lombok, east of Bali, IANS reported.

In another announcement, Angkasa Pura  said that at least 1,297 commuters have already travelled from Bali airport or from the Mengwi bus terminal to Surabaya, on Java Island, first in vehicles and then on ferries.

At the Surabaya airport, tickets for flights to Jakarta have been sold out until December and hundreds of passengers are looking for alternative routes to return home, according to several tourists.

Taking to Twitter, the Director of Information for the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said that Agung continues to spew ash and lava.

At least 22 villages near Agung have been affected by the falling ash, which, at the present, moves south-southwest.

The Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised the eruption alert to the highest level on Monday, increased the safety radius to 10 km around Mount Agung and cautioned of the risk of a major eruption.

The officials have ordered the evacuation of nearly 100,000 people living in the danger zone and recommended the use of protective masks for the population.

About 40,000 people have already registered in emergency shelters at various regions on the island, although some residents refuse to leave their homes.

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

Last, Mount Agung erupted in 1963,  when the ejection of magma lasted almost a year and claimed more than 1,100 lives.

Wefornews Bureau 

 

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