Volcano stops flights from Australia to Bali

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Sydney (dpa) – Volcanic ash erupting from Mount Rinjani in Indonesia stopped all flights from Australia to Bali Tuesday, a news report said.

Virgin Australia and Jetstar said the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre had deemed it unsafe to fly around Denpasar airport, the ABC reported.

Virgin cancelled 10 flights and Jetstar six, and both airlines said they will decide later on whether to resume flights on Wednesday.

It is the third time in recent months flights have had to be cancelled by the erupting volcano on the island of Lombok.

The head of the disaster management agency in Lombok, Azhar, said the volcano’s alert level remained one notch above normal, or yellow, after Sunday’s eruption.

“We have an evacuation plan in place in case of a major eruption, but for now there has been no upgrade in the alert level,” said Azhar, who goes by one name.

He said 4,000 face masks had been distributed to residents in seven villages affected by ash from the volcano.

Residents have been warned to stay away from a 3-kilometre exclusion zone, he said.

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