Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Thousands of tourists stranded as Bali volcano erupts

Thousands of tourists stranded as Bali volcano erupts

Air New Zealand says flight NZ245 from Auckland to Bali, due to depart today, has been cancelled as a result of the volcanic activity.

Indonesia closed the main airport on the resort island of Bali as volcanic eruptions sent ash shooting more than 8,000 feet into the sky, the latest closure over the past year at the country's second-busiest airport.

Mount Agung's crater glows red from the lava as it spews volcanic smoke In Karangasem, Bali Island, Indonesia.

Ngurah Rai International Airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim told Agence France-Presse that Australian airline Jetstar also cancelled 14 flights after the eruption even though the ash test at the airport came back negative. Several flights were cancelled or rescheduled on Thursday.

Its public relations department said 26 global inbound and outbound flights had been cancelled, affecting almost 5,000 travellers.

Australia's national airline Qantas said in a statement that it's "currently not safe" to operate Bali flights. Volcanic ash can damage aircraft engines, clog fuel and cooling systems, and affect visibility.

The volcano's alert level remains moderate.

It said it would remain closed until at least 7 p.m. local time.

An eruption at Mount Agung, about 70km from the coastal holiday area of Kuta, forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people previous year.

It said it was monitoring advice from the ash advisory center and its own pilots and meteorologists would decide when flights can resume.

The volcano's activity slowed down for a time before the eruption threat reared its head again last November, sparking travel chaos and pounding Bali's lucrative tourism industry and its wider economy. Authorities are still scrutinising the situation and have not raised the alert level yet.

More than 38,000 local residents were evacuated to shelters and a 12km exclusive zone placed around the volcano, which is 70km from Kuta.

Like this: