Indonesia's Lombok Airport likely to remain closed till Monday due to volcano eruption

A Nasa Earth Observatory image showing smoke and ash from Mt Rinjani (left) spreading out over Bali and Java, on Nov 7, 2015. P
A Nasa Earth Observatory image showing smoke and ash from Mt Rinjani (left) spreading out over Bali and Java, on Nov 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP/NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Lombok airport authorities have announced that the Indonesian island's international airport is likely to remain closed until Monday (Nov 9) in the wake of the ongoing eruption of Mount Rinjani, according to flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

"Mt Rinjani is sill spouting volcanic dust unpredictably; the clouds continue to hang directly above the island," Garuda Indonesia vice-president of corporate communications Benny S. Butarbutar said on Sunday (Nov 8).

Garuda has temporarily postponed its services from and to Lombok International Airport in Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara province, until further notice from the airport authority, according to Mr Benny.

Earlier, thousands of tourists were stranded on two islands after ash from the third-highest volcano in Indonesia forced the closure of three airports and blanketed villages and farmlands.

 

Airports in Bali and East Java were also forced to shut down after Mt. Rinjani erupted last week, though flight schedules in the two provinces have now returned to normal.

Mt Rinjani is among about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

The archipelago is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes because of its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.