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Indonesian airports closed

July 10, 2015

A volcanic eruption in Indonesia has forced the closure of five airports. Flights to and from Bali were canceled in what is the popular holiday island's peak season for tourists.

Indonesien Mount Raung
Image: Reuters/Budi Candra Setya

Indonesian authorities closed five airports on Friday as Mount Raung in East Java continues to spew ash and rocks in an eruption that began late last month.

Thousands of holidaymakers have been stranded on the tourist islands of Bali and Lombok owing to the closures. Two other smaller airports in East Java serving domestic routes were also among those to be shut down.

Indonesia's flag-carrier Garuda said it had canceled altogether 112 flights, while Australian carriers Virgin Australia and Jetstar have also grounded their services.

Both the latter airlines had already canceled flights to and from Bali in recent days in response to the danger posed by volcanic ash.

Australians make up a large proportion of tourists who visit the popular holiday destination.

Authorities last month raised the alert status of Mount Raung to the second highest level after it began erupting. The 3,332-meter (10,800-foot) volcano erupted last year with no human casualties.

Indonesia, which is located on a belt of seismic activity known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, has some 130 active volcanoes.

tj/msh (Reuters, dpa, AFP)