The Mount Agung alert status has been increased from level three to four (the highest) as of 06.00 local time this morning, with Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport declared closed for 18 hours as of 07.17 while Lombok International Airport has been reopened after a brief closure.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported the eruption of the mountain continued increasing from the phreatic to magmatic phases since 21.00 on November 25 with thick ashes spurring up to between 2,000 and 3,400m above the mountain peak.
“Volcanic ashes have been covering the air above Denpasar, therefore, for safety reasons, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is temporarily closed,” read an announcement by the directorate general of civil aviation issued this morning on the air situation in Bali.
The authority will continue monitoring the situation and the status is being evaluated every six hours.
“No activities are allowed within the hazard zone of eight kilometres from the crater plus 10km from the crater to the North-Northeast and Southeast-South sectors,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of Central Data Information and Public Relations of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.
He added that the hazard zone could be subject to change at any time.
Since early morning (as at press time) six flights from China bound for Bali have been redirected to Surabaya, Jakarta and Singapore and one domestic flight was redirected to Surabaya.
Some airlines, including Jet Star, Virgin, KLM and AirAsia, have cancelled their flights to and from Bali yesterday on their own safety measures, translating to about 20 affected flights.