'Red warning' to airlines over Bali volcano

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Bali volcano live webcam: Watch Mount Agung ERUPT as tourist hotspot issues 'RED WARNING'

27 November, 2017

No seismic activity has accompanied the eruptions, and Indonesian officials have said the island remains safe outside of a 4.7-mile danger zone surrounding Mount Agung.

The alert status was not changed from a level 3 alert, its second-highest level, despite the latest eruption, Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

The pulverised rock contained in volcanic ash can cause significant damage to jet engines, but airlines have different criteria about how close to ash clouds their planes can operate.

Qantas, Virgin and Dutch airline KLM soon followed Jetstar's lead in cancelling flights.

The island's main airport is for now operating normally, but some airlines have cancelled flights.

However, he said some airlines chose to cancel flights between Bali and Australia following the latest volcanic activity.

"Mount Agung has erupted 18 times and we are used to such a condition", he said, while still urging people to prepare backpacks containing masks, flashlights, jackets and glasses.

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An exclusion zone remains 4.5 miles from the crater.

"All flights are back to normal", said Herson, head of the local airport authority, who uses one name.

On Saturday, four airlines made a decision to ground at least 16 of their flights because of the increasing activity of the volcano in the afternoon.

Bali is a popular tourist destination for many in the region, with thousands traveling to the island for end of year celebrations.

Most recently, the 3,142-metre volcano spewed grey smoke and ash as high as 700 metres Tuesday, and again Saturday to twice that height, before beginning to emit lava Sunday.

During its last eruption in 1963 it left more than 1,000 people dead and destroyed several villages.

About 25,000 people have been unable to return to their homes since September, when Agung showed signs of activity for the first time in more than half a century.

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