27 November, 2017
The majority of global flights out of Bali have been cancelled after several volcanic eruptions on Mount Agung sent plumes of ash into the skies on Saturday and Sunday.
Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency tweeted that an ash column from Mount Agung coated a nearby village in a thin layer of ash on Saturday.
VP Corporate of PT Garuda Indonesia Hengki Heriandono said Garuda Indonesia will continue to monitor the situation and developments related to the activities of Mount Agung, especially the activity of the spread of volcanic ash that can disrupt flight safety.
The alert status was not changed from a level 3 alert, its second-highest level, despite the latest eruption, Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
Emergency authorities have handed out eerie masks to local residents and tourists trapped on the island as fears grow about an imminent major eruption.
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The volcano first erupted on Tuesday, sending clouds of ash as high as 13,000ft (4000m) above the summit and bathing the mountain in an orange glow. Virgin and Dutch airline KLM are also reported to have cancelled flights. While Denpsar's airport remains operational, several (mainly Australian) airlines have already cancelled flights in and out of Denpasar. The last time Mount Agung erupted, in 1963, more than 1000 people died.
GettyBalinese people look at Mount Agung during an eruption seen from Kubu sub-district in Karangasem Regency on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on November 26. Chances are that the eruption intensifies in the coming days, but just how much and how long it will last, and how risky it might become, is impossible to say at the moment.
It told people within a 7.5km (4.7-mile) exclusion zone to "immediately evacuate" in an "orderly and calm manner".
Made Sugiri, an employee at Mahagiri Panoramic Resort some 10 kilometres from the crater, said a thin layer of volcanic ash reached the area.
On Oct 29, the centre lowered the volcano's alert level by one notch after it was raised to 4 on Sept 22 in response to the most intense volcanic activity recorded in 53 years.