Bali's Mount Agung volcano erupts for second time in a week

Bali's Mount Agung volcano erupts for second time in a week

Bali's Mount Agung volcano erupts for second time in a week

Up to 7,000 air passengers are stranded on the island at the main Bali airport of Ngurah Rai, while Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised its aviation alert status from orange to its highest possible red status, signifying extreme hazards to aircraft. However it warned that the movement of ash cloud is highly unpredictable and flights could still be cancelled at short notice.

Australian airline Jetstar, which cancelled nine flights to and from Bali on Saturday evening, said most of its flights will operate normally Sunday after its senior pilots assessed it was safe to fly.

A boy takes pictures during Mount Agung's eruption.

VP Corporate of PT Garuda Indonesia Hengki Heriandono said Garuda Indonesia will continue to monitor the situation and developments related to the activities of Mount Agung, especially the activity of the spread of volcanic ash that can disrupt flight safety.

Magma has been detected close to the surface on Mount Agung.

Emergency authorities have handed out eerie masks to local residents and tourists trapped on the island as fears grow about an imminent major eruption.

There is an exclusion zone around the volcano
JOHANNES CHRISTO REUTERS There is an exclusion zone around the volcano

Away from the airport, closer to the volcano, there are no new evacuations and so far no plans to extend an evacuation zone that reaches up to 7.5 kilometres from the crater.

Satellite imagery Sunday showed the volcanic ash drifting east and southeastward towards Lombok Island.

Bali is a popular tourist destination for many in the region, with thousands traveling to the island for end of year celebrations.

When the volcano last erupted in 1963, it killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed several villages, remaining one of the largest and most devastating eruptions in the Southeast Asian country's history.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

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