Bali flights resume after Mount Agung volcano eruption

The eruption sent lava up to three kilometres from the crater, and nine villages experienced thick ash fall.
The eruption sent lava up to three kilometres from the crater, and nine villages experienced thick ash fall.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM VOLCANOYT/YOUTUBE

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - Flights in and out of the Indonesian resort island of Bali have returned to normal after a volcanic eruption caused delays and cancellations on Friday night (May 24). 

The cancellations occurred after the Mount Agung volcano erupted late on Friday.

The cancellations included four flights to Bali on Saturday and five that were scheduled to leave the island.

Mount Agung's eruption is the latest in a series of blasts in recent months, throwing volcanic ash into the southern part of the island, where the airport is located, Mr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in text message.

The volcano spewed lava as far as three kilometers, and nine villages experienced thick ash fall.

The agency said the eruption lasted four minutes and 30 seconds.

But the agency said it wasn't raising the alert level for the volcano and its exclusion zone remains at 4-km radius around the crater.

A spokeswoman for Jetstar confirmed that two flights to Bali - departing from Melbourne and Cairns - were turned around mid-air on Friday night as the dust cloud thickened, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

Two other Jetstar flights were cancelled, but normal schedules resumed on Saturday morning. Virgin Australia also said four flights from Denpasar, destined for Sydney and Brisbane, were delayed on Friday night and were due to depart on Saturday afternoon, the newspaper reported.

Mount Agung is situated in Karangasem district and is about 70km from tourist hub Kuta.

It became active again in 2017 after decades of slumber following a major eruption in 1963.