Indonesia extends closure of Bali airport as volcanic eruption continues

Updated 2017-11-28 13:31:55 Xinhua

Transport authorities in Indonesia extended closure of the international Ngurah Rai airport on Tuesday as volcanic eruption on Bali resort island continued, officials said.

The shutdown of Ngurah Rai airport was extended to 7:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) Wednesday from 7:00 a.m. (0100 GMT) Tuesday, said Wisnu Darjono, director operation of airNav Indonesia, a firm carrying out navigation services.

The decision came as Mount Agung volcano in Karangasem district of Bali continued eruption on Monday evening, spewing ash by up to 3 km high.

"After the eruption last night, it was decided to prolong the closure," he said in a statement.

The director said volcanic ash advisory shows that the navigation pathway has been covered by volcanic ash.

"So this is dangerous for flight. This decision is taken for the safety of flight," said Darjono.

A total of 89,000 passengers have been stranded in Bali as a result of closure of the airport.

Separately, in nearby Lombok area, another major foreign tourist destination in the country, the main airport has been reopened since 6:00 a.m. Tuesday (0000 GMT), said Israwadi, corporate secretary of PT Angkasa Pura I, operator of the airport.

The airport was shut down at 19:50 p.m. local time (1350) Monday.

The Lombok International airport has been made as an alternate airport when the Bali Ngurah Rai airport could not operate.

Over 200,000 foreign holiday makers come into the Bali tourist resort every month, according to the national statistics agency.

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