Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Volcano eruption leaves thousands stranded in Bali

Volcano eruption leaves thousands stranded in Bali

Operations at Bali's Ngurah Rai Denpasar International Airport have resumed after a temporary shut down on Friday morning. Australian airlines had cancelled flights scheduled for Thursday evening while the airport was still operating.

A change in wind direction pushed the ash away from Bali's global gateway, allowing flights to resume, an airport official said.

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

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

Ngurah Rai worldwide airport says all flights are suspended until at least 7pm local time (9pm AEST).

The Indonesian volcanic agency, VONA, still has Mount Agung on orange color code - one below the top red level - meaning the volcano is exhibiting heightened unrest with an increased likelihood of eruption or an eruption is underway with no or minor ash emission. The return flight NZ246 from Denpasar to Auckland was also cancelled.

Activity at the volcano was high last year and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, but it had been quieter this year.

Two other airports in East Java were also ordered closed on Friday, according to DPA news agency.

Long lines at airport in Bali as flights are cancelled or delayed.

Volcanic activity had only subsided by February 2018, and the Bali Tourism office announced that the volcano alert had been downgraded to a Level III. It has been erupting with various intensities since a year ago.

A danger zone has been erected within a 4km radius of the volcano's crater, and some 300 residents from the area around the mountain were evacuated. Its last major eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages.

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