Airport in Bali shut for second day as volcano spews more ash


Bali’s international airport has been shut for a second day as Mount Agung continues to spew towering columns of volcanic ash, reported Evening Standard. 

Indonesian authorities have renewed warnings and told citizens living near the volcano they may be forcibly evacuated if they do not leave their homes.

The Ngurah Rai airport was closed on Monday morning for 24 hours, with more than 400 flights and cancelled and 59,000 travellers stranded.

On Tuesday the Transportation Ministry announced that closure for another 24 hours was required for safety reasons. Volcanic ash poses a deadly threat to aircraft, and ash from Agung is moving south-southwest toward the airport.

Mount Agung has been hurling clouds of white and dark grey ash about 9,800 feet above its cone since the weekend and lava is welling in the crater. Its explosions can be heard over 7 miles away.

It said a larger eruption is possible, though a top government volcanologist has also said the volcano could continue for weeks at its current level of activity and not erupt explosively.

Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people.

Authorities have told 100,000 people to leave homes that are in close proximity to the volcano, though as of Monday tens of thousands stayed because they felt safe or didn’t want to abandon livestock. They have also warned people of the danger of mudflows from the volcano as it’s now rainy season in Bali.