Bali and Lombok airports closed as Mount Barujari spews volcanic ash
Indonesian authorities have closed Bali and Lombok airports as ash blown from an erupting volcano continues to disrupt flights.
Last night, the Indonesian transport ministry announced that it would close airports in Bali and Lombok until further notice, on advice from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.
The volcanic ash cloud is about one kilometre high and blowing north-west from Lombok towards Bali.
And vulcanologists have warned that they do not expect the eruption to finish any time soon.
“Based on my experience of watching this mountain, the explosions will never happen just for couple of weeks,” said Mutaharlin, a vulcanologist based at the nearby Mount Rinjani Observation Post who has been monitoring the area’s volcanos for more than 20 years.
“In 2009 it happened for one-and-a-half years.”
Mount Barujari erupts approximately every five years.
A mudslide from a 1994 eruption killed more than 30 villagers.
“Compared to the 1994 eruption which cost lots of lives, this eruption is considered far smaller,” Mutaharlin said.
“At that time the volcanic ash column climbed 7000 metres high and blew as far as East Java.
“Right now the ash is thin and only affects aviation if it reaches 2,000 metres.
“If the ash gets blown higher by a strong vertical wind then it can cause more trouble.”
The ash may yet affect even more flights. Indonesian authorities are also monitoring conditions around the nearby East Java airport.
Source :abc News
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