Ash blankets villages, flights cancelled after Bali volcano erupts

Nov 27, 2017, 01:00
Ash blankets villages, flights cancelled after Bali volcano erupts

The alert status remains at level 3 out of 4, with authorities warning residents not to conduct any activities within a 6 to 7.5km radius from the volcano.

Indonesia's disaster management agency said the eruptions were no longer "phreatic", which means they are triggered by water hitting superheated rocks and usually short-lived. However it warned that the movement of ash cloud is highly unpredictable and flights could still be cancelled at short notice.

Even if visibility is clear, volcanic ash can damage an airplane's engine.

"We will continue to see eruptions like this one at scales similar, but we cannot predict when mount Agung is really going to erupt", said to AFP Mr. Suantika.

Bali is an important tourist centre and the global airport of Denpasar, the capital of the island, is operating normally for the moment, even if some airlines made a decision to cancel their flights.

Authorities maintain the resort island remained safe, despite several airlines cancelling flights over safety concerns.

"There was concern the volcano was heading for a very major eruption, so far this is fairly minor, but could be worsening", AccuWeather Meteorologist David Samuhel said.

There have been no new evacuations in Bali and a six kilometre exclusion zone around the volcano has not been extended.

After Saturday's eruption, which produced a bigger ash cloud than the initial one on Tuesday, Singapore updated its travel advisory for the island, warning that ash clouds could "severely disrupt air travel".

"We weren't notified by Jetstar in advance of us getting here (to Bali's airport)", said Australian tourist George Bennick. "Seismic activity is characterized by low frequency earthquakes".

There are fears the volcano could erupt for the first time since 1963, when almost 1,600 people died. Thousands were forced to evacuate earlier this year due the threat of an eruption on Mount Agung.

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