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New eruption of Mount Agung disrupts air travel, Bali, Indonesia

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Several eruptions were registered at Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano in Bali on June 27 and 28, 2018. The eruptions produced a dense ash plume that rose up to 5 km above sea level and forced AirAsia to cancel numerous flights on June 28. Officials in Ngurah Rai International Airport are still assessing whether to halt operations again.

Agung erupted on Thursday, June 28, 2018, producing a dense white and black volcanic ash plume that rose up to 1.5 to 2 km (5 000 – 6 500 feet) above crater summit. This is up to 5 km (16 404 feet) above sea level.

Ashfall was reported in nearby communities.

At least 27 AirAsia flights scheduled to arrive to and to depart from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (NGRI), Denpasar have been canceled or postponed and the company urged all guests to update their contact details at airasia.com to ensure that they are notified of any updates to their flights.

Ngurah Rai officials are assessing whether to temporarily halt operations following Mount Agung’s latest eruption, their spokesperson said.

While flights on other airlines are currently all on schedule, anyone flying to our out of Bali is urged to contact their airline.

The Alert Level remains at 3 (on a scale of 1 – 4) and the 4-km-radius (2.5 miles) exclusion zone remains in effect. 

Authorities are urging residents living close to the volcano as well as tourists to respect the exclusion zone.

Update

Bali closed its international airport early Friday, June 29 (local time) after a pilot detected ash as high as 7 km (23 000 feet).

"Based on the meteorology agency prediction, the volcanic ash will reach the airport on Friday morning," airport spokesman Yanus Suprayogi said in a statement.

The airport is expected to be closed at least until 19:00 local time, June 29 or longer.

June 29, 10:25 UTC

Based on the evaluation meeting on the impact of volcanic ash due to the eruption of Mount Agung, it was decided that IGNR airport reopens for operation at 14:30 WITA, June 29.

Featured image: Eruption of Mount Agung, Bali, Indonesia on June 28, 2018. Credit: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho

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