Balinese Hindus take part in a ceremony, where they pray near Mount Agung in hope of preventing a volcanic eruption. Photograph: Sonny Tumbelaka/ AFP/ Getty Images
The national catastrophe organization spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, called for people to stay calm.
” Bali’s airport has indeed been closed. We’re still coordinating the next steps ,” airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim said.
The Geological agency head, Kasbani, who goes by one name, said here alert degree was raised at 6am on Monday because the volcano had changed from steam-based eruptions to magmatic eruptions. However he said he was still not expecting a major eruption.
” We don’t expect a big eruption but we have to stay alert and anticipate ,” he said.
Indonesia’s Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation elevated its aviation colouring code from orange to red, indicating a further eruption with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere was imminent.
Australian airline Jetstar cancelled all flights in and out of Bali due to the ash cloud all over the Mount Agung volcano. The decision on Monday was induced on security grounds and overturned earlier expectations that flights would go ahead.
” While these interruptions are frustrating, we will always set security before schedule ,” the carrier said in a statement. Virgin Australia was expected to follow suit.
Jetstar said it would update passengers around 7pm AEDT based on advice from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.
An exclusion zone extending 7.5 km from the crater remains in place
following the evacuation of more than 185,000 people after an eruption in September, and authorities have warned anyone remaining within it to leave the area. About 25,000 to 30,000 people were reportedly still unable to return home.
The September eruption was the first sign of activity by Mount Agung in more than 50 times and prompted the highest alert degree. In 1963 a major eruption killed about 1,100 people.
Where is the volcano ? b>
Mount Agung rises about 3,000 m above Bali’s Karangasem district, in the island’s east. Bali lies within the so-called Pacific ring of burn, a zone of high seismic and volcanic activity where thousands of tremors arise each year.
Has it erupted before ? b>
Mount Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people and razed many villages. More than 50,000 Indonesians were evacuated in September this year when experts cautioned an eruption was imminent. About 25,000 people have been unable to return to their homes since then.
What is happening this time ? b>
21 November- a minor eruption sent a plume of ash and steam rising about 700 m. Volcanologists said it was caused by magma heating sea( phreatic eruption ). No alert was issued.
25 November- three minor eruptions mailed a plume rising 4,000 m and coated nearby villages in a layer of ash. An exclusion zone of seven. 5km was put in place and some flights were diverted or cancelled.
26 November- Indonesia’s Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation updated to code ruby-red, predicting a further eruption with significant volcanic ash. Some flights were cancelled. Experts said the eruption was being driving in magma rather than steam.
27 November- Indonesian authorities elevated the alarm to the highest level and ordered people within 10 km to leave as experts warned of an imminent peril of a larger eruption. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said here ash plume had risen to 9,144 m. Denpasar airport was closed for 24 hours.
How long will it last ? b>
Australia’s BOM expects eruptions and ash to continue for at least 24 hours. Indonesian government volcanologist Gede Suantika calculates Agung could spew ash for at the least a month.
Photograph: Induced Nagi/ EPA
The volcano is Bali’s highest peak and a popular hiking destination for sightseers, “whove been” alerted to stay away for now. Several villages that rely on the tourism trade are within the exclusion zone and
fear for the economic impact on their livelihoods. Agence-France Presse and Australian Associated Press contributed to this report
https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2017/ nov/ 27/ mount-agung-bali-airport-closed-as-volcano-alert-raised-to-highest-level