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Flights canceled after Bali volcano eruption

Bali is a huge tourist draw but recent eruptions from Mount Agung have hampered the industry
AFP

Jakarta (AFP) – Dozens of flights were cancelled Thursday as a rumbling Bali volcano belched a fresh plume of smoke and ash more than 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) into the sky.

Malaysia-based AirAsia axed 22 flights to and from the Indonesian holiday island as Mount Agung, about 75 kilometres from the tourist hub in Kuta, erupted again.

The carrier also postponed five other Bali flights. 

Ngurah Rai International Airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim told AFP Australian airline JetStar also canceled 14 flights after the eruption even though the ash test at the airport came back negative.

However, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said Agung’s danger status had not changed and flights were not in danger.

The crater has been erupting periodically since it rumbled back to life last year.

The volcano’s activity slowed down for a time before the eruption threat reared its head again in November, sparking travel chaos and pounding Bali’s lucrative tourism industry and its wider economy. 

There is a four kilometre no-go zone around Agung’s peak.

Agung’s last major eruption in 1963 killed around 1,600 people. 

Indonesia is the world’s most active volcanic region and lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.

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