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Mount Agung: Bali airport reopens as skies clear

By Ed Adamczyk
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Mount Agung is seen from Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday as it emanates ash. The island's airport reopened Wednesday after remaining closed for three days. Photo by Made Nagi/EPA-EFE
Mount Agung is seen from Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday as it emanates ash. The island's airport reopened Wednesday after remaining closed for three days. Photo by Made Nagi/EPA-EFE

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The airport on Bali, which closed for three days because of eruptions by the Mount Agung volcano, reopened Wednesday to the relief of hundreds of stranded tourists.

Arie Ahsannurohim, spokesman for Bali Ngurah Rai International airport, said volcanic ash from the eruptions drifted south and left clear skies for takeoffs and landings.

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The airport had been closed since Monday.

Ahsannurohim added that 440 flights were canceled Tuesday, affecting nearly 60,000 passengers.

Ash from the volcano, which continues to erupt, has been detected 75 miles in the air above the mountain. Seismologists believe another major eruption could occur.

Over 100,000 people living within six miles of Mount Agung were ordered to evacuate this week. Notice of an eruption began two months ago, and tremors were observed last week. About 40,000 people are now living in hundreds of shelters, Indonesia's Disaster Management Agency said.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika asked those in the local tourism industry to provide late-breaking information to the airport authority. He also requested that area hotels offer free lodging to tourists awaiting a flight out, and that the lowest available rate be offered to those remaining in Bali.

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"In an effort to keep the tourism image of Bali, which is our duties and obligations, we need the cooperation from all parties to assure tourists that they feel comfortable while they're in Bali," Pastika wrote.

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