Volcanic Ash Spewing from Mount Raung Foces Authorities to Shut Down Airports in Bali and Lombok
Ash spewing from Mount Raung in East Java forced the authorities to shut down airports in Bali as well as the nearby Lombok Island on Thursday. The busy holiday season caused many passengers to get stranded.
The affected airlines due to the second day airport closure included Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas.
The two of the famous resort islands of Indonesia faced problems with closed airports and disrupted business during peak holiday season in the summers.
The airport of Bali usually handles close to 48,000 passengers everyday and the number is generally about 3,600 for Lombok. The economy of these two islands depends majorly on tourism. The government of Indonesia also relies greatly on these two famous tourist destinations for earning foreign exchange for the country as there has been a slump in its exports.
The volcanic eruption on Mount Raung that lies approximately 150 kilometers from Bali in the west started on July 5. This eruption prompted the authorities to advice pilots passing close to the location to fly at a height above
24,800 feet for simple reasons of safety.
Adravida Barata a spokesman from the Transportation Ministry said "We will see if we can reopen the airports after the sunset. However, everything depends on the pattern on wind direction which blows the ash far and wide.
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