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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Bali Airport Reopens after Closure due to Volcanic Eruption

DENPASAR, Indonesia – Ngurah Rai international airport on the Indonesian island of Bali reopened on Wednesday after remaining shut for two days amid the threat posed by increased volcanic activity of the Mount Agung volcano.

The director of information for the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, in a short text message confirmed to EFE that activity resumed on the airport premises at 3:00 pm (0700 GMT).

“All flights both arriving and departing from and to I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport is now being operated,” Angkasa Pura, the company in charge of operating the Bali airport, said in an announcement posted on Twitter.

The authorities also brought down the alert level from red to orange after assessing the current conditions, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

Singapore Airlines announced on its website that at least two flights will leave for the city-state from the Indonesian island, and that it is negotiating approval for another nine flights to depart.

On Monday, the Bali airport operator announced the closure of the premises due to emissions of volcanic ash, which could affect the engines of airplanes and increase the risk of accidents.

More than 100,000 passengers have been affected by the cancellation of nearly 900 flights flying in and out of Bali.

Meanwhile, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation has maintained the eruption alert at the highest level, and kept the safety radius to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) around Mount Agung and warned of the risk of a major eruption.

The authorities have ordered the evacuation of nearly 100,000 people living in the danger zone and recommended the use of protective masks for the population.

Almost 40,000 people have already registered at the emergency shelters at various points on the island, although some residents have refused to leave their homes.

Located in the east of the island province, in the district of Karangasem, Mount Agung is far from most tourist sites.

This is the mountain’s first volcanic eruption since 1963, when the ejection of magma lasted almost a year and caused more than 1,100 deaths.

Bali is the main tourist destination in Indonesia, with an annual influx of around 5.4 million foreign tourists, according to official data.

The Indonesian archipelago sits within the so-called “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken by thousands of tremors every year, most of small magnitude.

 

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