Bali airport closes as Mount Agung volcano spews ash, smoke

Passengers in Perth arrive at the airport to find their flights are cancelled

Camera Icon Passengers in Perth arrive at the airport to find their flights are

DENPASAR, Indonesia The Indonesian tourist island of Bali closed its worldwide airport Friday, stranding thousands of travelers, as the Mount Agung volcano gushed a 2,500-meter (8,200-feet) column of ash and smoke.

Bali's main worldwide gateway will be closed until at least Friday evening, according to officials, who added that two other domestic airports were also shut.

Apparently, the volcano erupted and sent an ash column of 2,500 metres into the air and reddish flames were spotted in the crater, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

The volcano began belching ash and smoke on Thursday and several airlines canceled inbound and outbound flights scheduled for the evening.

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The major reason for cancelling the flights during a volcanic eruption is that it can damage engines, clog fuel and can even hamper visibility.

Mount Agung spews volcanic ash into the air.

Authorities halted operations at Ngurah Rai International Airport before dawn on Friday, concerned that wind-blown ash from new eruptions at Mount Agung could interfere with flights.

Thousands were stranded at the airport or nearby hotels Friday, but it was not immediately clear how many tourists were unable to leave the island.

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According to a report, the Disaster Mitigation Agency stated that the airport closure will begin from June 29, 2018, until the situation gets normal.

The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation continues to place the level of activity at Mount Agung at Orange, or Level III, signaling an intense increase in activity but no eruption.

At Bali's worldwide airport, hundreds of passengers were queuing in the lobby of the terminal to get updates from airlines, while some slept on the floor next to their baggage.

Despite the eruption, Agung's status remained on alert status, the second highest danger warning.

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Indonesia is the world's most active volcanic region and lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

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