The international airport at Indonesia’s Bali island was reopened on Friday, after authorities closed it due to a volcanic eruption the previous day, AFP reported. The Ngurah Rai airport began operating at 2.30 pm local time (12 pm Indian Standard Time), about 12 hours after it was shut. “The airport will operate for 24 hours straight to get flights back on schedule,” an unidentified official said.
The eruption sent thick smoke and ash at least 2 km into the air, ChannelNewsAsia reported. Several flights were cancelled or rescheduled on Thursday.
Mount Agung, an active volcano in the northeastern part of the resort island, has been puffing since last year. The Ngurah Rai airport was closed in November for three days after the volcano spewed ash over 7 km high.
At least 280 flights were cancelled, affecting 15,700 passengers, AFP reported, quoting an airport spokesperson.
Mount Agung had last erupted in 1963, killing 1,600 people. The volcano started spewing ash again in September, forcing authorities to raise the alert to the highest level and 1,40,000 people living nearby to evacuate.
Volcanic ash can damage aircraft engines and fuel and make runways slippery.