The Jakarta Post
Three airports have been closed for safety following the eruption on Mount Rinjani in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, an official said on Wednesday.
Yusfandri Gona, an area head at Ngurah Rai International Airport, said that volcanic ash from the eruption had spread around the region forcing three airports to close: Ngurah Rai in Bali, Selaparang Airport in Lombok and Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, East Java.
"Since last night and continuing today we have closed the airports for safety," he said as quoted by newsportal kompas.com.
Ngurah Rai airport was closed on Tuesday evening and is scheduled to be re-opened on Thursday morning at 8.45 a.m. local time.
Ngurah Rai airport has cancelled 692 flights, both domestic and international, leaving 6,000 passengers stranded.
To assist stranded passengers, airport authorities ran a transfer service to Terminal Ubung, the departure point in Denpasar for inter-region buses, and gave directions on how to rent vehicles to drive to Surabaya in East Java.
Many passengers decided to get to Surabaya to continue their journeys from Juanda airport, which remains open.
Mt. Barujari, reported kompas.com, had started to spew volcanic ash on Oct. 25, leading to the closure of hiking tracks in the area.
Spokesman for The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that the agency and the local Disaster Mitigation Agency had declared alert Level 2 for Mt. Rinjani following intensified volcanic activity on Wednesday. Mt Barujari, which is located inside the caldera of Mt. Rinjani, continues to spill volcanic ash that is spreading to west and southwest to Banyuwangi. (rin)
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