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Bali's Mount Agung Erupts For Second Time This Week

Bali's Mount Agung Erupts For Second Time This Week

In addition, Agus Santoso, director general for air transportation at the Ministry of Transportation, told reporters that the Lombok International Airport on Lombok "has been temporarily closed for flights for an indefinite period since 16.15" due to the volcanic ash.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the ash column from Mount Agung rose 1500m following an eruption at about 5:30pm on Saturday. However it warned that the movement of ash cloud is highly unpredictable and flights could still be cancelled at short notice.

"I think these latest eruptions are more risky, given the thick clouds it's releasing", he said.

Government volcanologist Gede Suantika said a red-yellow light visible in ash above the mountain was the reflection of lava in the crater.

Emergency authorities have handed out eerie masks to local residents and tourists trapped on the island as fears grow about an imminent major eruption. "So we are very disappointed about that".

Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in total, eight worldwide flights to Bali and 13 global flights departing from Bali were cancelled.

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While many have since returned, more than 25,000 people remain evacuated in over 200 temporary shelters.

The last time the volcano had a major eruption, in 1963, more than 1,000 people perished.

The Mt. Agung volcano, which towers over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3,000 meters (9,800 feet), is about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the island's main tourist areas of Kuta and Seminyak.

On Oct 29, the centre lowered the volcano's alert level by one notch after it was raised to 4 on Sept 22 in response to the most intense volcanic activity recorded in 53 years.

Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country, including some of the world's most famous, such as: Krakatau (Krakatoa), Tambora, and Merapi.


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