Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Bali Holiday Plans And Flights In Chaos After Mount Agung Erupts, Again

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
Ebony Burgess | 30 June, 2018, 18:33

Almost 450 flights were cancelled on Friday, affecting some 75,000 people, as the Mount Agung volcano gushed a 2500m column of ash and smoke for a second day.

The Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar will be shut on Friday until 7pm (local time), airport operator Angkasa Pura and the country's disaster agency said.

Airlines cancelled mostly global flights after the closure on Thursday, affecting more than 8000 passengers affected.

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.

State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura said in a statement that as of 2.00 p.m. local time, 318 flights, including 115 worldwide ones, had been cancelled, affecting around 27,000 passengers. The return flight NZ246 from Denpasar to Auckland was also cancelled.

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"At Flight Centre we are closely monitoring the situation and working with our customers due to travel to the region to provide support and advice".

"Well it's Bali, these things happen and we are fine with it".

Thousands were stranded at the airport or area hotels Friday, but it was not immediately clear how many tourists were unable to leave the island. However, the authorities' warning level remains one notch below the highest advisory.

"Bali dan Badung regency have prepared emergency funds. after learning from last year's experience", Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika told the Antara news agency during his visit to the airport. Mount Agung is about 70km northeast of Bali's tourist hotspot of Kuta. Last year, a series of eruptions from September to December prompted evacuations and flight disruptions, but no loss of life was reported.

Indonesia is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

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