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3:16 pm - Thursday January 20, 7831

Thousands stranded in Bali; airports closed, 445 flights cancelled

Jakarta,

Some 89,000 passengers have been affected following closure of the airports on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali for a second day on Tuesday due to the eruption of the Mount Agung volcano.

The shutdown has disrupted 445 flights covering 196 international and 249 domestic routes.Secretary General of the Ministry of Transportation Sugiharjo said the airports would be shut down or kept open based on the direction of the wind carrying volcanic ash from Mount Agung, reports Antara news agency.

Maria Kristi Endah Murni, director of air transportation in the ministry, said the government would keep monitoring the situation as a larger eruption is feared.

The authorities said dark smoke and ash have been billowing up to 3,400 metres above the mountain`s peak, thereby prompting officials to shut down Bali`s Ngurah Rai Airport from Monday until Tuesday evening.

Following the eruption, authorities have asked all villagers in the disaster-prone areas, tourists, and other individuals to evacuate and avoid any activities near the volcano and other regions within a 10-km radius from the volcano`s peak.
Some 30,000 people have already left the area.

Posted in: World

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