‘Red alert’ to airlines over the Bali volcano

The airlines have been issued a “red alert” about the danger of volcanic ash in the sky near Bali after Mount Agung emits a thick cloud of smoke to get to 4,000 m (13,100 feet).

It is the second largest of the issuance of the Indonesian island volcano of this week, and flights have been disrupted.

The red warning means that an eruption is forecast to be imminent with significant emission of ash likely.

The authorities have begun to distribute masks, in some areas such as the ash falls.

Bali is an important tourist destination, although the main tourist centres of Kuta and Seminyak are about 70 km (43 miles) from the volcano.

The main airport is, by now it usually works, but some airlines have canceled flights. Volcanic ash can damage aircraft engines.

Travelers to and from the region is put in contact with your airline or travel agent to find out the status of your flight.

Reuters

The ash cloud is moving towards the east of Bali to the island of Lombok, and the main international airport has not been closed completely.

The director of information of Indonesia Disaster Mitigation Agency twitter that the volcanic ash rain had fallen in the Lombok city of Mataram.
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“Tourism in Bali is still safe, except in the danger area (zone) around Mount Agung,” the agency said in a statement.

It was said to the people within a 7.5 km of the exclusion zone to “evacuate immediately” in an “orderly and calm manner”.

Magma – molten rock – has been detected near the volcano’s surface, said officials and volcanologists.

Antara Photo/Wira Suryantala via REUTERS

About 25,000 people are believed still in temporary shelters after more than 140,000 people fled at the beginning of this year. The increase of the volcanic activity led to fears of an impending eruption.

The majority of the inhabitants of the islands outside of the immediate exclusion zone received the order to return home at the end of September, and the mountain has been intermittently rumbling since then.

According to official estimates, the island of vacation lost at least $110m (£83m) in the tourism and productivity during a major evacuation.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

It is the home of more than 130 active volcanoes. The last time Mount Agung erupted in 1963, more than 1,000 people died.

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