Bali’s Mount Agung erupts again, flights not affected

Mount Agung erupting on April 30, 2018. Photo via Sutopo Purwo Nugroho/BNPB

Bali’s Mount Agung shot volcanic ash up into the air on Monday night, erupting after weeks of silence, but the volcano’s renewed activity did not affect flights and has not sparked any re-evacuations.

The eruption was recorded at 10:45pm, with an amplitude of 23mm, a quake of 172 seconds, and an ash column 1,500 meters above the crater, according to data tweeted by Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

Thin ash “rain” or ash fall could be experienced in North Bali’s Singaraja as the winds were blowing in a westerly direction, but the flight path of the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport remained undisturbed said Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub).

“Until now, it is still safe. There are no transfer routes,” said Kemenhub director general of Air Transportation, Agus Santoso, as quoted by Bisnis Indonesia.

Mount Agung’s current alert status level persists at level III, “standby,” which is the second highest alert level. It’s expected that Mount Agung will erupt again, but the public should remain calm and further eruptions should not impact people outside of a four kilometer zone from the radius, says Santoso.

“For now, it does not interfere (with flights), so flights to and from Bali are still normal,” he said.

After no eruptions since 1963, Mount Agung stirred back to life late last year in September, with a string of small eruptions that persisted until this February. During that five-month period, over 100,000 villagers were displaced and forced to evacuate at some point. Some local villagers with homes bordering the danger zone were still evacuated up through March 2018.

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