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Published on Monday, November 27, 2017

Airports shut as Bali raises volcano alert to highest level

The volcano alert for Bali's Mount Agung has been raised to its highest level and latest reports say there are fears a large eruption could be 'imminent'.

Travellers are being warned of continuing flight disruption over the coming days after Bali's Denpasar airport and the airport on Lombok, 70 miles away, were closed.

At least 445 flights have been disrupted and 59,000 tourists are stranded.

After erupting, a huge volcanic ash cloud caked the area in dust and is expected to affect the south of the island today where the airport is located

Officials say the ash cloud may reach more than 6,000 metres and a safety exclusion zone around the peak has been increased to 10km.

So far 40,000 people have been moved away from the volcano.

ABTA is closely monitoring the situation. The association said: "There will only be a relatively small number of UK holidaymakers on the island at this time of year.

"ABTA advises that people on holiday in the region should monitor news reports, follow the advice from local authorities and stay outside the existing exclusion zone, which extends between 8 and 10 kms from the crater.

"Volcanic ash clouds could continue to cause flight disruption and may result in further airport closures in the region. Anyone due to travel to the region imminently should check with their travel provider or airline to establish if their holiday or flight is affected."

The Foreign Office has updated its advice to British travellers to say: "Mount Agung in East Bali has been erupting since 21 November and local authorities raised the alert level to level 4 (the highest level) on 27 November 2017.

"Ash clouds have caused airport closure for periods in both Bali and Lombok and disruption to flights in the region. The authorities are monitoring the situation closely and airports in the region are likely to continue to be closed for periods of time. You should confirm your travel arrangements directly with your airline or travel agent before travelling to the airport.

"You should monitor local media reports, follow the advice of the local authorities and stay outside the existing exclusion zone.

"Volcanic activity may escalate."

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