Balinese back to evacuation centers, flights cancelled after new volcano eruption

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-26 10:22:52|Editor: pengying
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JAKARTA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Ash pouring down villages in Bali of Indonesia has forced villagers to flee home after the second eruption of Mount Agung volcano in the resort island, while airliners cancelled flights for safety reasons, an official has said.

Volcanologists have ordered villagers to leave the dangerous zone of 7.5 km from the crater after Saturday's eruption which spread a higher column of ash, 1,500 meters to the sky, from that at the previous eruption on Nov. 21 of 700 meters high, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Saturday midnight.

The volcanic ash spreads toward southwest of the crater, pouring down Besakih, Rendang and Pempatan villages in Karangasem district, he added.

Using motorcycles, cars and trucks, the affected people rushed to the safer territory in the south of the crater, said Sutiopo.

"All the people in the territory must be removed, the area is dangerous," he told Xinhua in a text message.

Although the authority have declared that the condition of international Ngurah Rai airport remains safe, airliners still abort some flight schedules, affecting 2,087 passengers, said Sutopo.

"A total of eight arrival schedules have been cancelled and a total of 13 for departures. The cancellation is the initiatives of the airliners," he added.

The volcanologists have downgraded the volcano alert status to the second highest level.

Mount Agung is located in Karangasem district, some 70 km from tourist hub Kuta.

A total of 1,100 people were killed in the last eruption of the volcano in 1963.

Mount Agung is among the 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a vast archipelagic nation with around 17,500 islands.