Bali airport resumes operations day after volcano Mount Agung erupts

Agung Bali Volcano warning downgrade

The popular Indonesian tourist island of Bali has closed its worldwide airport after Mount Agung volcano began spewing volcanic ash and vapor higher than two kilometers (6,500 feet) into the air.

Bali's main global gateway will be closed until at least Friday evening, according to officials who spoke to AFP news agency.

Denpasar Airport remains open, but all travellers are being advised to check with their airlines about specific flights.

The eruption sent an ash column of 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) into the air and a reddish flame was visible in Mount Agung's crater, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the agency said in the statement.

Four of the airline's Friday flights, including two services delayed from Thursday night, have been cancelled.

The airport was closed early Friday after a pilot flying overhead detected traces of volcanic ash as high as 23,000 feet.

A man checks flight information board at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia Friday, which now closed due to volcanic ash.

The report further suggests that the sudden increase in the lava eruption has forced millions of people to evacuate the nearby regions of the volcanoes.

The queue at Bali's worldwide airport.

Scientist and self-proclaimed "volcano adventurer" John Seach, who has spent 32 years covering volcanoes, says few written records exist of Mount Agung due to its "long period of dormancy". Those missed flights have been re-booked to leave tomorrow morning.

Volcanic ash is hard and abrasive, and can damage propellers and turbo compressor blades, as well as scratching cockpit windows.

SIA passengers travelling to Bali between Thursday and Friday may also be able to rebook or request a refund of their tickets, it said in a Facebook post.

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.

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

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