Bali’s Mount Agung shoots up ash, disrupting flights

Mount Agung erupting on June 28, 2018. Photo: BNPB

UPDATE:  Volcanic ash shuts down Bali airport

After seeming to simmer down for several months, Bali’s Mount Agung volcano erupted on Thursday, causing a disruption to flights in and out of Bali.

While on the ground, the volcano does not pose a threat to people outside of a four kilometer radius from the crater, AirAsia cancelled 22 flights to and from Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport and JetStar cancelled 14 flights.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency has been tweeting updates about the eruption. In the following tweet, Nugroho explains that the airport continues to operate normally (cancellations thus far have been decisions made independently by airlines) and there is no need for evacuation from surrounding areas.

“Bali remains safe,” he said in his tweet.

Flight cancellations from airlines were in spite of an air test at the airport coming back negative for ash, according to Ngurah Rai spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim.

Sitting in Bali’s eastern Karangasem regency, Mount Agung is about 75 kilometers from the tourist hub of Kuta.

Today’s eruption saw an ash column reach a height of more than 1,000 meters, but the volcano’s alert status was not raised and is holding steady at level III (standby), the second highest level.

Before stirring back to life last year, Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing around 1,600 people.

With additional reporting from AFP.

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