Volcanic ash shuts down flights in Indonesia

By Shawn Price   |   Nov. 4, 2015 at 11:35 PM
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JAKARTA, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Ash from a volcano has shut down over 100 flights on Bali for a third day, authorities said Wednesday.

The Indonesian government has closed the main airport on the resort island of Bali until at least Thursday due to lingering ash in the air from nearby Mount Rinjani, an active volcano on an island near Bali. The volcano is one of 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia.

Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned of further possible eruptions after multiple eruptions closed Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport earlier this week. Wind has blown the ash in the sky around the airport leading to the cancellations of 106 flights, including 59 international flights.

Ash has closed the airport on nearby Lombock Island as well.

Jet engines can quickly be clogged and melted by thick, hot ash as planes fly through the plumes, making flight extremely dangerous in the vicinity of erupting volcanoes. Airlines have been told to avoid the area until a decision is made on when to reopen the airports.

Virgin Australia and Jetstar canceled all their flights, and Air Asia canceled 13 of its flights to and from Bali on Wednesday.

Thousands of travelers were stranded in July when ash clouds from Mount Raung in East Java shut down five airports in Bali.

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