Mount Agung erupted on Friday spewing lava and rocks over a 3km radius, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) reported. The volcano spewed ash into the sky, descending over villages and towns in the region. A number of flights were cancelled to and from Australia shortly after the eruption due, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. There were no casualities and no evacuations took place.
Bali airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim said nine flights between Bali and Australia were cancelled on Friday night, while flights to and from New Zealand also faced delays.
A spokesperson for Auckland Airport said New Zealand flights were expected to resume today: “There are no disrupted flights that we are aware of, but this may change.”
Authorities warn the volcano could erupt again, bringing more travel chaos and possibly destroy surrounding building and property.
Brent Thomas, commercial director at New Zealand travel company House of Travel, told the Independent: “It could go dormant again or it could erupt again, no one knows.”
Photos show an ash cloud hanging above the volcano, with glowing lava spewing near the crater.
Authorities gave out over 50,000 masks to residents as a precaution because of the ash cloud, however, the volcano’s alert level on the volcano remained unchanged.
Mount Agung last erupted on 21 November 2017.
Authorities raised the alertness level on Mount Agung since then, but have since lowered the possible occurence of eruption.
However, Agung continues to send shockwaves through Bali in sporadic eruptions that disrput flights.
Mount Agung erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people and destroying several villages.
famous for its surf, beaches and temples, attracts around 5 million visitors a year.