Indonesia extends Bali airport closure due to Agung eruption

JAKARTA/AMED, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesia's transportation ministry said on Tuesday it will extend the closure of Bali's I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport for a further 24 hours because of ash from the eruption of the island's Mount Agung volcano.

A report from local aviation navigation authorities showed that "aircraft flight channels are covered with volcanic ash" the ministry said in a statement.

Bali airport, about 60 km (37 miles) from the volcano, will be closed until 7 a.m. local time on November 29, it said.

(For an interactive package on Agung eruptions click http://tmsnrt.rs/2hYdHiq)

17 PHOTOS
Mount Agung volcano erupting in Bali
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Mount Agung volcano erupting in Bali
A view of Mount Agung volcano erupting from Culik village in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
A villager walks as Mount Agung volcano erupts in the background in Kubu, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia on November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
A tourist watches as Mount Agung volcano erupts at Lempuyang Temple in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
Farmers tend their crops as Mount Agung erupts in the background in Amed, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Nyimas Laula TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A villager walks as Mount Agung volcano erupts in the background in Kubu, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
A villager walks as Mount Agung volcano erupts in the background in Kubu, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia on November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
A view of Mount Agung volcano erupting from Kubu, in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
Foreign tourists take pictures as Mount Agung erupts at Besakih Temple in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia on November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
Mount Agung volcano erupts as seen from Culik Village, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 26, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Nyoman Budhiana/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.?
Tourists watch the eruption of Mount Agung at a restaurant on Jemeluk Beach, Amed, Karangasem, Bali, November 26, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Nyoman Budhiana/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Mount Agung volcano erupts, as seen from Culik Village, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 26, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Nyoman Budhiana/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
A woman uses an umbrella as she walks through ash from Mount Agung volcano during an eruptiuon in Bebandem Village, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 26, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Fikri Yusuf/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Mount Agung volcano erupts as seen from Glumpang village, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
Mount Agung volcano is seen erupting from Glumpang village, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
Indonesia's Mount Agung volcano erupts as seen from Amed, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Colreavy
Villagers watch as Mount Agung volcano spews ash during an eruption from the Volcanic Observatory in Rendang Village, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia November 26, 2017. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo
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Ten alternative airports have been prepared for airlines to divert inbound flights, including in neighboring provinces.

A separate notice showed Lombok airport had been reopened, after an earlier closure overnight due to the eruption.

Agung rises majestically over eastern Bali to a height of just over 3,000 meters (9,800 feet).

On Monday, authorities ordered 100,000 residents living near the volcano to evacuate immediately, warning that the first major eruption in 54 years could be "imminent". An 8-10 km (5-6 miles) exclusion zone has been imposed around the summit.

Agung's last eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages by hurling out pyroclastic material, hot ash, lava and lahar.

On Tuesday, life continued largely as normal in villages surrounding Agung, with residents setting up traditional markets and offering prayers as the volcano continued to spew tall columns of ash and smoke from its crater.

Many residents evacuated in September when the alert was last raised to the highest level have returned to their homes and farms due to worries over their livelihood and livestock.

Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre (PVMBG), which is using drones, satellite imagery and other equipment, said predictions were difficult in the absence of instrumental recordings from the last eruption 54 years ago.

It warned that if a similar eruption occurred, it could send rocks bigger than fist-size up to 8 km (5 miles) from the summit and volcanic gas a distance of 10 km (6 miles) within three minutes.

Recordings now show the northeast area of Agung's peak has swollen in recent weeks "indicating there is fairly strong pressure toward the surface", PVMBG said.

(Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe in JAKARTA; Additional reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor in AMED; Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Eric Meijer and Michael Perry)

17 PHOTOS
Stunning pictures of Bali, Indonesia
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Stunning pictures of Bali, Indonesia
Jemeluk Beach and beautiful blue lagoon with Gunung Agung volcano on background. Amed village, East of Bali, Indonesia.
Lila Sunbed on Beautiful White Sand. Clear Blue Ocean, Atuh Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia.
Taman Ayun Temple is a Royal Family Temple of Mengwi Empire and it is located in Mengwi Village, Mengwi sub district, Badung regency, Bali, Indonesia.
Spectacular rice fields in narrow walley, to north of Ubud.
Rice paddy at sunrise, Bali, Indonesia
Monkey at Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali, IndonesiaMonkey at Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Indonesia, Bali, East Bali, Amlapura, Rice Fields and Gunung Agung Volcano
Pura Ulun Danu Batur or Ulun Danu Batur temple is a Hinduism temple built in 1926 and dedicated to Ulan Danu, the Goddess of lakes and rivers. It is the second most important temple in Bali after the mother temple Besakih. It is Located in Kintamani Bangli. The Temple and it's stunning view of lake Batur, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bali.
Indonesia, Bali, Indian Ocean waves at Uluwatu on the Bukit Peninsula, one of Bali's best surfing locations
yoga in Bali, meditation in the temple, spirituality and enlightenment
Sekumpul Waterfalls in Bali, Indonesia
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Pura Desa Temple, Ubud, Bali Indonesia
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