Erupting Bali volcano blankets popular tourist island with ash, disrupts flights

Bali volcano live webcam: Watch Mount Agung ERUPT as tourist hotspot issues 'RED WARNING'

The information director of Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency tweeted that volcanic ash rain had fallen on the Lombok city of Mataram.

The flights of about 5,000 passengers were cancelled on Sunday and another 2,500 holidaymakers could not get in because their planes were rerouted or never took off.

Authorities maintain the resort island remained safe, despite several airlines cancelling flights over safety concerns.

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. The twelve departures affected include from Bali to Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne by Jetstar, to Brisbane by Virgin Airlines, and two to Sydney and one to Amsterdam by KLM.

Emergency authorities have handed out eerie masks to local residents and tourists trapped on the island as fears grow about an imminent major eruption. It is still gushing and the dark grey clouds are moving toward the neighbouring island of Lombok, a direction that is away from Bali's airport, where almost all scheduled domestic and global flights were continuing Sunday.

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There have been no new evacuations in Bali and a six kilometre exclusion zone around the volcano has not been extended. Officials said that magma has now reached its surface.

Most recently, the 3,142-metre volcano spewed grey smoke and ash as high as 700 metres Tuesday, and again Saturday to twice that height, before beginning to emit lava Sunday. The last time Mount Agung erupted, in 1963, more than 1000 people died.

About 25,000 people are thought to still be in temporary shelters after more than 140,000 people fled earlier this year. "Seismic activity is characterized by low frequency earthquakes".

Many of Indonesia's 130 volcanoes show high levels of activity.

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