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Thousands of tourists stranded as Bali volcano eruption closes airport

30 June, 2018, 18:34 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Passengers in Perth arrive at the airport to find their flights are cancelled

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

Twenty-two Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin and Air Asia flights have been affected between Thursday night and Friday morning.

"Denpasar Airport is now closed and we are monitoring the advice from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center and our team of senior pilots and meteorologists will make an assessment when flights can be resumed", said the statement.

The early morning closure of Ngurah Rai airport resulted in the cancellation of 446 flights, including more than 200 worldwide arrivals and departures, with as many as 15,700 passengers affected, according to news reports.

Ash is unsafe for planes as it makes runways slippery and can be sucked into their engines.

An eruption at Agung in November also stranded thousands and pounded Bali's lucrative tourism industry, the backbone of its economy.

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The airports, which were shut from 3 a.m. local time will remain closed at least until 9 p.m., PT Angkasa Pura, the state-run airport operator said in a statement.

The volcano has turned active again after a lull since previous year, forcing out a thick column of ash and smoke, leaving no option for the authorities but to close the global airport.This incident has left thousands for travellers stranded, affecting around 75000 people. The return flight NZ246 from Denpasar to Auckland was also cancelled.

Tens of thousands of locals fled to evacuation centres after last year's eruption. "So we've had two cancelled flights", Bird told AFP.

When did Mount Agung last erupt? Mt. Agung is situated in Bali's northeast area, around 70 km from Kuta.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

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