The alert status of Indonesia's Mount Agung has been upgraded from third to the fourth level on November 27, Monday morning. The gateway of Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport has been closed temporarily by the airport authority due to the massive volcanic ash, which has spread almost 3,000 meters into the atmosphere sinc the weekend.
"We have conducted a meeting this morning and decided to suspend the airport's operation for safety reasons," said the head of the airport authority for Bali and East Nusa Tenggara Herson as quoted by The Jakarta Post.
"We have received reports from pilots that volcanic ash has reached the area above the airport. We conducted an observation and found that that is true, so we decided to close the airport," he further added.
Kasbani, the Geological agency head said that since the volcano shifted from steam-based eruptions to magmatic eruptions, the authority has increased the alert level.
On November 26, Sunday, Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre (PVMBG) of the region has increased the flight alert bar from orange to red, as the volcano in Bali has started erupting for the second time on Saturday evening.
Although the volcano was expected to erupt at any moment in this year, on September 29, it reacted and emitted a small plume of water vapour but did not produce any ash.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a recent statement, "At 6.20am (local time), the evacuation reached between 3,000 and 4,000m from the summit with the ash moving in a southeast direction at a speed of 18km an hour."
While the alert status was showing three to four level, the concerned authority advised people to stay away from the volcanic zone and must maintain a distance of six to 7.5km radius.
However, the volcanic activity has forced to change the routes of several flights on Saturday night and Sunday early morning. Passengers were informed by the Ngurah Rai Airport that flights from Australia, Netherlands and Malaysia have been re-routed. The authorities have also said that due to the volcanic eruption and unclear sky, airlines like Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin have changed their schedule.
In 1963, local residents witnessed Mount Agung to erupt for the last time, which killed almost 2,000 people and destroyed surrounding area.
On the other hand, Singapore Airlines has posted required details on their website, regarding flight cancellation and rescheduling updates.
Here is the list of cancelled flights:
Saturday, 25 November
- Jetstar JQ127 Adelaide - Bali
- Jetstar JQ128 Bali - Adelaide
- Jetstar JQ102 Townsville - Bali
- Jetstar JQ116 Perth - Bali
- Jetstar JQ37 Sydney - Bali
- Jetstar JQ38 Bali - Sydney
- Jetstar JQ35 Melbourne - Bali
- Jetstar JQ36 Bali - Melbourne
- Virgin VA36 Denpasar - Sydney
- Virgin VA34 Denpasar - Sydney (delayed)
Sunday 26 November
- Jetstar JQ101 Bali - Townsville
- Jetstar JQ117 Singapore - Bali
- Jetstar JQ117 Bali - Perth
- Virgin VA55 Port Headland - Denpasar
- Virgin VA35 Sydney - Denpasar
- Virgin VA43 Brisbane - Denpasar
- Virgin VA44 Denpasar - Brisbane
- Virgin VA36 Denpasar - Sydney
- Virgin VA46 Denpasar - Brisbane