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The activity of Agung volcano, which this Saturday expelled a cloud of ashes that has reached up to 4,000 meters high, has caused cancellation of dozens of returned and has left stranded in Bali to more than 2,000 passengers, for now. Last night, twenty flights were cancelled, most of m from Australia, and this Sunday low-cost airline AirAsia has cancelled anor 32 flights to and from Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok. The Malaysian-based airline has also rescheduled two or flights and has contacted affected passengers by email to offer a change of flight or route, as reported in a statement.
The National Disaster Management Agency (BNBP, Indonesia) maintains level of Eruption Alert 3 ( maximum is 4) and reported Ash rain in at least 7 populations on island. The aviation alert level is red ( maximum).
The prediction of Meteorological Agency Indonesia considers that wind, which blows in south-souast direction, can move ash cloud to sea and island of Lombok, located about 50 kilometers west of Bali. At moment, Purwo Nugroho, director of information at Disaster Management Agency, has invited local people and tourists to remain calm and take precautions for effect of ash rain. The safety zone remains within a radius of 6 to 7.5 kilometres around crater.
The Indonesian flag carrier Garuda has announced cancellation of all scheduled flights for Sunday with destination or departure from Lombok. For its part, Malaysia Airlines ensures that it continues to operate in Bali normally, while some Australian companies also continue ir operations.View of Agung volcano and its ash cloud, this Sunday. JOHANNES CHRISTO Reuters
"The volcano and movements of ash cloud are highly unpredictable, so flights are subject to changes with little advance in function of evaluation of safety of route", notes company Jetstar on its Internet portal.
The Agung volcano is located in east of island, in Karangasem district and away from most of Bali's tourist attractions. At present, more than 25,000 people in Karangasem district continue to be displaced by eruption alert, although number reached 140,000 at end of September.
On Tuesday volcano expelled a cloud of black vapour of 700 meters in first eruption of type no magmatic since eruptions of 1963 and 1964. During that period, eruptions lasted almost a year and caused more than 1,100 dead.A farmer from Culik cultivates field with ashes of Agung volcano in background. Antara Photo Reuters
Bali is main tourist destination of Indonesia with a monthly flow of some 200,000 foreign tourists, according to official data. The Indonesian archipelago sits within so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken by thousands of tremors a year, most of low magnitude