Indonesia: Indonesian authorities on Monday raised the alert level for Bali’s Mount Agung to its highest level over fears of an imminent major eruption and have closed the island’s main airport until Tuesday Thick ash started shooting upto 3,400 metres into the air above the mountain’s summit on Saturday, driving east and southeast along the archipelago, causing dozens of flight cancellations, reports .
At Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali’s main airport, flights were cancelled for 24 hours from 7.15 a.m., on Monday, stranding roughly 59,000 domestic and international passengers. “While the sun is shining and there is little sign of volcanic ash in the southern regions of Bali, evidence of volcanic ash at higher altitudes on aviation approach and departure paths has prompted the decision to close the airport,” Bali Tourism Board Chairman Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana said in a statement.
Over the weekend, 24,000 residents were evacuated from across the island while Lombok International Airport on Lombok, the island due east of Bali, closed temporarily, said Ari Ahsan, spokesman for Ngurah Rai airport. Flights from Lombok resumed early on Monday. The National Agency for Disaster Management issued a Level 4 alert, recommending no public activities within 8 to 10 kms from the peak.