Bali was closed for half a day on Friday due to volcano ashes following Mount Agung eruption. However, the airport reopened on Friday afternoon, earlier than expected.
Having been closed for almost 12 hours, Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport has reopened after operations were suspended following the eruption of Mount Agung in Karangasem regency.
The airport closed at 3 a.m. local time on Friday and reopened at 2.30 p.m., three and a half hours earlier than expected. The reopening was decided during an evaluation meeting attended by all Ngurah Rai stakeholders at the airport compound in Denpasar, Bali, at noon.
“Considering that air space above the airport is clear of volcanic ash and the wind has shifted from east to northeast, as well as based on the latest update from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, we decided the airport should reopen at 2.30 p.m.,” Ngurah Rai Airport Communication & Legal Section head Arie Ahsanurrohim said.
Arie said the airport would be operating for 24 hours so the flight schedule could return to normal. The airport was already closed last year at the end of November and early December.
Besides Ngurah Rai, two airports in East Java, namely Blimbing Sari Airport in Banyuwangi and Noto Hadinegoro Airport in Jember, had also closed.
Mt. Agung has been spewing volcanic ash and smoke since Thursday afternoon. Flames emanating from the crater can be seen at night.
The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has called on local residents, visitors, hikers and tourists to stay clear of areas within a radius of 4 kilometers from the peak.
(Source: The Jakarta Post- gis/ebf)