Jakarta, Nov 29: The main airport on the Indonesian island of Bali re-opened on Wednesday after remaining shut for two days due to a volcanic eruption which blanketed parts of the island in ash forcing thousands of evacuations. Flights resumed at Ngurah Rai Intertiol Airport from 3 p.m. after the Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation was downgraded from a Red alert to Orange.
Layers of ash settled on houses and fields on Bali after an eruption of Mount Agung. More than 38,000 people had already been evacuated from the area around the volcano which began erupting late on Saturday, CNN reported. The authorities ordered the evacuation of nearly 100,000 people living in the danger zone and recommended the use of protective masks for the population. Emergency workers said they were encountering resistance from people concerned about their livestock and belongings. The massive plumes of dark smoke from Mount Agung were seen reaching as high as three kilometres above its rumbling summit. The airport might have to close again if the wind changed direction, officials said. The authorities warned tourists that they were likely to face long waits before returning home because of a huge backlog of flights. Singapore Airlines announced on its website that at least two flights will leave for the city-state from the Indonesian island and that it was negotiating approval for another nine flights to depart. (IANS)