Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport has reopened and is operating as normal, following temporary closure last week due to volcanic eruptions and their resulting ash cloud.
International flights to the island were disrupted on Monday and Tuesday last week, when Mount Agung rumbled into life with a series of eruptions. Following a two-day closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai international airport, flights are now operating once more as normal in Indonesia’s most popular tourist location.
Mount Agung erupted first on Saturday, 25th November, and then three times early the next day, sending ash 4,000 metres into the atmosphere and lighting the crater with a red glow as the volcano moved into a more explosive magmatic stage in its activity.
The ash clouds from the initial eruptions had been moving toward the neighbouring island of Lombok, away from Bali’s main airport, where nearly all scheduled domestic and international flights were continuing on Sunday. The Lombok airport was closed due to the ash at that time.
Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry initially closed the Denpasar airport on the Monday morning for 24 hours. On Tuesday, they announced the closure would be extended for an additional day, until Wednesday at 07:00 local time. The airport was then re-opened and flights have since returned to normal. An exclusion zone extending up to 7.5km from the crater remains in place.
The September and November eruptions were the first signs of activity by Mount Agung in more than 50 years and prompted the highest alert level. The last major eruption at Mount Agung was in 1963. The volcano is Bali’s highest peak and a popular hiking destination for tourists, who have been warned to stay away from the volcano’s exclusion zone for the time being.