27 NOVEMBER 2017


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Article from BTNews 27 NOVEMBER 2017

Airlines on alert over volcano

Airlines were on red alert last night in face of a volcanic ash warning from Indonesian and regional authorities after Mount Agung in Bali emitted a plume of smoke 4,000m (13,000ft) into the sky.

Ash was reported to be covering roads, cars and buildings near the volcano in the northeast of the island as a red glow of what appeared to be magma could be seen overnight.

Flights were disrupted as the warning means an eruption could be imminent. Among carriers affected, Virgin Australia after resuming flights on Sunday morning again cancelled operations in the afternoon.

Qantas and Jetstar flights were continuing into the afternoon but Jetstar warned on its website that flights could be subject to change for safety reasons. Indonesia flag carrier Garuda said it was cancelling all flights to and from Lombok.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said in a message from its Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VACC) in Darwin that the eruption was "expected to be ongoing".

On Bali, Gede Suantika, an official in the volcanology mitigation agency, said the volcano had entered the “magmatic eruption phase – we need to monitor and be cautious over the possibility of a strong, explosive eruption.”

Agung last erupted in 1963, when more than 1,000 people were killed and several villages destroyed.

The dangers of volcanic dust were illustrated in 1982 when all four engines on a British Airways B747 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, Western Australia, shut down at 37,000ft, causing the aircraft to fall to 12,000ft before it could be brought under control and narrowly avoid catastrophe.

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