Volcano eruption leaves thousands stranded in Bali

30 June, 2018, 18:31 | Author: Angel Logan
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"Safety remains the main reason for the decision to close the airport", disaster management spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

Mount Agung cast a reddish glow as its summit, visible for miles around, as smoke and ash plumes shot more than 6,000feet (2,500metres) into the air.

Passengers look at an informtaion board at Bali's global airport, Indonesia on Thursday as airlines cancelled flights due to volcanic eruption from Mount Agung.

The volcano's eruption threat reared its head again in November, sparking travel chaos and pounding Bali's lucrative tourism industry and its wider economy.

Activity at the volcano was high last year and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, but it had been quieter this year.

Qantas turned back two Bali-bound flights departing from Melbourne and Sydney, and delayed two more due to depart Denpasar.

"Well it's Bali, these things happen and we are fine with it".

Thousands were stranded at the airport or nearby hotels Friday, but it was not immediately clear how many tourists were unable to leave the island. The authorities have also reduced its alert status from higher to lower level in the month of February 2018.

There is a four-kilometre (2.5 mile) no-go zone around Agung's peak.

"Bali dan Badung regency have prepared emergency funds. after learning from last year's experience", Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika told the Antara news agency during his visit to the airport.

"We will try our best to find a solution so all visitors can continue their trip", Made Mangku Pastika said.

The volcano, about 70km northeast of Bali's tourist hotspot of Kuta, last had a major eruption in 1963, killing about 1100 people.

The crater has been erupting periodically since it rumbled back to life previous year.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for seismic upheavals and volcanic eruptions.

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