Bali: Volcano eruption forces closure of international airport, hundreds of flight cancellations | News | DW | 29.06.2018
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Bali: Volcano eruption forces closure of international airport, hundreds of flight cancellations

Nearly 75,000 travelers have been stranded on the popular resort island after Mount Agung erupted. Volcanic ash can threaten aircraft by causing their engines to "flame out."

UPDATE: Volcano activity weakens, international airport reopens

Thousands of travelers are stranded on the Indonesian resort island of Bali after a volcanic eruption forced authorities to shut down its main international airport in the early hours of Friday.

Nearly 450 flights have been canceled, affecting more than 75,000 passengers, and the airport will remain closed until 7 p.m. local time (1100 UTC), a spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency said. Airlines that have canceled flights include Air Asia, Jet Star, Qantas and Virgin.

Read more: Why an eruption of Bali's Mount Agung is so dangerous

Authorities acted after Mount Agung in northeastern Bali erupted on Thursday, spewing a 2,500-meter (8,200-foot) column of ash into the surrounding air. Ash can damage aircraft engines and cooling systems and reduce visibility.

Officials, who have not raised their warning alert to the maximum level, established a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) danger zone around the volcano's crater and helped evacuate some 300 nearby residents.

Read more: Bali airport reopens as Mount Agung ash cloud shifts

Mount Agung has erupted multiple times since becoming active in late 2017. The international airport on Bali was closed during a major eruption in December.

Indonesia is a hot spot for volcanic activity as it sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Some 1,200 people were killed during Mount Agung's last deadly eruption in 1963.

amp/sms (Reuters, dpa)

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