Flights unaffected as Bali's Mount Agung erupts for a second day

Bali's Mount Agung erupted on Sunday, shooting ash and smoke up to 2.5km into the atmosphere above the crater.

JAKARTA - Bali's Mount Agung volcano erupted on Sunday morning but there was no damage and flights have not been affected, Indonesia's disaster management agency (BNPB) said.

The agency said the volcano erupted at 10:05am local time, spewing ash as high as 2.5km above the crater. The eruption lasted for about 10 minutes.

"Bali's Ngurah Rai airport and Lombok airport are operating normally. During the rainy season that will last until April 2018, the wind direction trend is towards East and southeast, away from the Ngurah Rai airport," BNPB spokesman Dr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

"Bali is safe and normal. The number of tourists domestic and foreign is increasing now. The eruptions are not dangerous as long as anyone is outside the exclusion zone," the statement said.

The alert level for the volcano and the 8 to 10km radius around it remains at its highest but the rest of the island beyond this zone continues to be safe, it said.

The mountain also erupted on Saturday (Dec 23), a day after President Joko Widodo held a cabinet meeting on the island.

Mr Joko's visit is part of efforts to stem the US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) in estimated losses suffered by the tourism industry since the volcano rumbled back to life in September, forcing 140,000 people living nearby to be evacuated.

At the tourist hub of Kuta, Mr Joko rolled up his trousers to dip his toes in the sea and took wefies with the crowd.

The government said on Friday it had lifted the emergency response status for Bali, effectively ending the nationally coordinated efforts to assist local residents affected by the volcano's activities.

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