Bali volcano disrupts flights

Bali volcano disrupts flights

Overnight services to and from Australia halted after Agung erupts late Friday

Thick smoke and a glow from lava are seen as Mount Agung erupts in Karangasem Regency of Bali late Friday night, in a picture obtained from social media. (Wayan Kartika/via Reuters)
Thick smoke and a glow from lava are seen as Mount Agung erupts in Karangasem Regency of Bali late Friday night, in a picture obtained from social media. (Wayan Kartika/via Reuters)

JAKARTA: A volcano erupted on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, causing some overnight flight cancellations to and from Australia as an ash cloud rose into the sky, officials said on Saturday.

Mount Agung spewed out lava and showers of rocks over a distance of about three kilometres, with ash falling over dozens of villages, officials said. There were no reports of casualties.

Flights run by Qantas Airways, JetStar and Virgin Airlines were operating normally on Saturday.

Authorities had 50,000 masks available as a precaution, although the alert level on the volcano remained unchanged and there had been no evacuations.

Photographs of Agung overnight showed an ash column and glowing lava in the crater of the volcano, which rises majestically over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3,000 metres.

In late 2017, authorities raised the alert level on Agung after a spike in activity, triggering evacuations and travel chaos at the time. The alert level has since been lowered but the rumbling Agung has erupted intermittently since then, occasionally disrupting flights.

A major eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages.


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