Red aviation alert because of Mount Agung eruption

Indonesia's disaster management agency said the eruptions were no longer "phreatic", which means they are triggered by water hitting superheated rocks and usually short-lived.

The activity of Agung volcano, which this Saturday expelled a cloud of ashes that has reached up to 4,000 meters high, has caused cancellation of dozens of returned and has left stranded in Bali to more than 2,000 passengers, for now.

Airlines have issued a "red warning" after the volcano emitted a thick plume of smoke reaching 4,000m (13,100 feet). At moment, Purwo Nugroho, director of information at Disaster Management Agency, has invited local people and tourists to remain calm and take precautions for effect of ash rain.

The emissions are the second this week alone igniting warnings from experts that a more powerful eruption is imminent
The emissions are the second this week alone igniting warnings from experts that a more powerful eruption is imminent

The Mount Agung volcano on Bali erupted with greater force Sunday, prompting some airlines to cancel flights to and from the popular resort island and forcing an global airport on a nearby resort island to close, according to local officials.

Authorities have begun distributing masks in some areas as ash falls.

Saturday's eruption came just four days after a similar eruption occurred on Tuesday. An eruption in 1963 killed 1,549 people.

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Even if visibility is clear, volcanic ash can damage an airplane's engine.

Bali is Indonesia's top tourist destination and its gentle Hindu culture, surf beaches and lush green interior attract about 5 million visitors a year.

The danger zone around Agung was also reduced from a radius of 9 to 12km from the peak in different areas, to a radius of 6 to 7.5km.

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Most of the islanders outside the immediate exclusion zone were ordered to return home at the end of September, and the mountain has been intermittently rumbling since.

But Suantika, head of volcanic mitigation at the centre, said the eruption was not - at least yet - a major explosive one, adding there have been "no increasing tectonic and volcanic tremor activities". "Seismic activity is characterized by low frequency earthquakes".

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  • Ryan Wade