Volcano erupts on Bali causing flight cancellations

NO ARCHIVEThick smoke and glow from lava are seen as Mount Agung volcano erupts in Karangasem Regency, Bali. Photo: Wayan Kartika via Reuters
Thick smoke and glow from lava are seen as Mount Agung volcano erupts in Karangasem Regency, Bali. Photo: Wayan Kartika via Reuters
A volcano erupted on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, causing some overnight flight cancellations to and from Australia as an ash cloud rose into the sky, officials said on Saturday.

Mount Agung volcano spewed out lava and showers of rocks over a distance of about 3km, with ash falling over dozens of villages, officials said. There were no reports of casualties.

Flights, run by Qantas Airways, JetStar and Virgin Airlines, were operating normally on Saturday.

Authorities had 50,000 masks available as a precaution though the alert level on the volcano remained unchanged and there had been no evacuations.

Photographs of Agung overnight showed an ash column and glowing lava in the crater of the volcano, which rises majestically over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3,000 metres.

In late 2017, authorities raised the alert level on Agung after a spike in activity, triggering evacuations and travel chaos at the time. The alert level has since been lowered but the rumbling Agung has erupted intermittently since then occasionally disrupting flights.

A major eruption in 1963 killed more than 1000 people and razed several villages Bali, famous for its surf, beaches and temples, attracts around 5 million visitors a year.

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