Indonesia closes Bali airport till Nov 5 due to volcanic eruption, nearly 700 flights cancelled

Passengers waiting for their delayed flights at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, Nov 3, 2015.
Passengers waiting for their delayed flights at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, Nov 3, 2015.PHOTO: AFP
Mount Baru Jari spewing volcanic ash as seen from Mount Rinjani in Lombok on Nov 1, 2015.
Mount Baru Jari spewing volcanic ash as seen from Mount Rinjani in Lombok on Nov 1, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesia has closed Bali airport, one of its busiest international terminals, cancelling hundreds of flights, because of ash spewed by a volcano on a nearby island, authorities said on Wednesday (Nov 4).

The resort island’s Ngurah Rai airport will be closed until Thursday morning and will reopen after a re-evaluation of the situation, officials said.

“A total of 692 flights have been cancelled,” airport authorities said in a statement.

Mount Rinjani on the nearby island of Lombok has been spewing ash since last weekend. “Tremors due to volcanic activities are continously recorded and potential of more eruption is still high,” the meteorological agency said in a statement.

Media reported the volcanic eruption had also delayed the deportation of one of India’s most-wanted men, Rajendra Nikalje, widely known as Chhota Rajan. He was arrested in Bali last week after a two-decade-long international manhunt.

Tens of thousands of travellers in Bali were stranded during peak holiday season in July when the airport was closed due to volcanic eruptions on Mount Raung in East Java.