Bali's Mt Agung volcano erupts again

Bali's Mount Agung Erupts For Second Time This Week

Mount Agung belched smoke as high as 1 500m above its summit, twice as high as on Tuesday when smoke sparked an exodus from settlements near the mountain.

People living within 7.5 kilometres (4.5 miles) of the mountain have been told to evacuate, senior volcanologist Gede Suantika said, advising residents to remain calm.

Authorities have kept Mt Aung's emergency status at level 3.

The announcement comes as business slumped in areas around the volcano, including nearby tourist hub Kuta, since September when Agung's volcanic tremors began to increase.

It caused several airlines - including, KLM, Qantas, AirAsia, and Virgin - to cancel or rearrange flights in the region.

The latest activity created a bigger ash cloud than the initial episode on Tuesday, officials said.

Australian airline Jetstar cancelled nine flights to or from Bali yesterday evening and said it was delaying several flights today to give more time to monitor the situation.

Volcanic ash can do significant damage to aircraft's systems, sensors and engines and Australian airlines take an ultra-cautious approach to volcanic ash.

Camera IconA volunteer puts a mask on a woman due to ash in the air from Mt. Agung volcano.

"We will continue to see eruptions like this one at scales similar, but we cannot predict when mount Agung is really going to erupt", said to AFP Mr. Suantika.

However, several worldwide flights were to have been canceled and rerouted on Saturday night as a result of the eruption, according to Bali's Ngurah Rai global Airport website.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the ash column from Mount Agung rose 1,500 metres following an eruption at about 5:30pm on Saturday. Thousands living in the shadow of Mount Agung have been forced to flee.

The volcano's last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1100 people.

Indonesia sits on the "Pacific Ring of Fire" and has more than 120 active volcanoes.

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