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Published on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bali tourists remain stranded as officials fear volcano will blow


Bali's international airport will remain closed until 07:00 on Wednesday morning, say officials, as nearby Mount Agung continues to spew volcanic ash into the atmosphere.

However, the airport on neabrby Lombok has reopened and authorities are arranging for buses to take tourists to ferry terminals from where they can transfer to the neighbouring island.

Officials fear of major eruption of the volcano, which is on the east of Bali about 70 kms from the tourist areas of Kuta and Seminyak. Up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from within 10 kms of the mountain and the Foreign Office is advising any British visitors to leave the exclusion zone 'immediately'.

Indonesia's national disaster agency said ash was being drawn southwest towards Bali's Denpasar airport, causing fears it could damage aircraft engineers and hamper pilot visibility.

More than 400 flights were grounded yesterday, leaving almost 60,000 people stranded on the holiday island, including around 3,000 Britons, according to figures released by Bali hoteliers. Inbound flights have been diverted to a total of 10 alternative airports.

Asian Trails said it was transferring its guests from Bali to Surabaya, the nearest open airport, which involves a 12-hour journey. 

The volcano is still emitting thick ash clouds and flares from the lava were also spotted overnight. Some reports say streams of rock are also flowing down the mountain.

The British Embassy currently has a team of consular staff based in the international departures area at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (Denpasar) to provide support and advice to British nationals.

Anyone in the affected area is being advised to wear a face mask.

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