Volcano Erupts on Indonesia’s Bali Causing Flight Cancellations

By Reuters

AKARTA—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, May 25.

Mount Agung volcano spewed out lava and showers of rocks over a distance of about 2 miles (3 km), 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 meters.

More than 140,000 people had fled the area around the mountain in 2018, after its alert status was raised to the highest level, indicating an eruption may be imminent.

Mount Agung volcano erupts in Bali, Indonesia, on July 2, 2018. (Photo via Reuters)

The alert status was lowered two weeks later, allowing for the return of those displaced from government shelters.

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 plume of smoke above Mount Agung volcano is illuminated at sunset as seen from Amed, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 30, 2017. (Darren Whiteside via Reuters)

An eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people. Agung lies about 45 miles northeast of Bali’s tourist hotspot of Kuta.

It is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes because of its location on the so-called “Ring of Fire”—a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.

Bali, famous for its surf, beaches and temples, attracts around 5 million visitors a year.

Farmers tend their crops as Mount Agung erupts in the background in Amed, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia on Nov. 27, 2017. (Nyimas Laula/Reuters)

The Associated Press contributed to this article.