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Bali airport reopens, thousands ready to take off

July 12, 2015

After being forced to close due to volcanic eruptions for a second time, Bali's Ngurah Rai airport is allowing planes to take off again. Thousands of people hope it means they'll be able to get home soon.

Indonesien Mount Raung Flughafen Bali geschlossen
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Made Nagi

After a seven-hour closure, Indonesian authorities reopened Bali's airport after the danger posed by ash spewing from Mount Raung in neighboring East Java had passed.

The volcanic eruption caused travel chaos not only at Ngurah Rai airport in Bali, but several other regional airports as the island is extremely popular with international tourists, while at the same time locals are traveling ahead of Eid celebrations to mark the end of Islam's holy month of Ramadan next week.

Mount Raung has been exhibiting mild eruptions since June, but the latest more serious clouds of ash created by the volcano forced runway shutdowns in Bali, Lombok, Jember and Banyuwagi, with the latter remaining closed all of Sunday. The Bali airport finally reopened being shut from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This is the second time this week that volcanic activity forced the Ngurah Rai airport to halt all travel, stranding thousands of vacation goers, sometimes for days.

es/sms (AFP, dpa)