More Than 400 Flights Cancelled As Volcano Forces Bali Shutdown

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It was shooting a column of ash more than 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) into the sky on Friday and officials said operations at Indonesia's second-busiest airport would be reviewed every few hours.

Bali's Government Tourism Office said at 7am local time on Friday (12am BST) people living 60 to 70 kilometres away from the summit in South Bali faced no immediate threat.

"At this stage, scheduled flights this afternoon and this evening are planned to operate subject to any change in conditions".

Customers are also advised to check the status of their flights on www.emirates.com/flightstatus and update their contact details online on www.emirates.com/MYB in order to receive the most current information on their flights.

The cancelled Jetstar flights include routes between Denpasar and Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns. Mount Agung is about 70km northeast of Bali's tourist hotspot of Kuta. The return flight NZ246 from Denpasar to Auckland has also been cancelled.

"Due to a volcanic ash cloud caused by Mount Agung in Bali, it is now not safe to operate flights to or from Denpasar Airport", the statement said.

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The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation continues to place the level of activity at Mount Agung at Orange, or Level III, signaling an intense increase in activity but no eruption.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of Bali's disaster mitigation agency said seismic activity was still rife deep under the volcano.

"In the first days of the activity quake shocks were felt after which followed the emission of ash, sand and stones".

At Bali's global airport, hundreds of passengers were queuing in the lobby of the terminal to get updates from airlines, while some slept on the floor next to their baggage.

Mount Agung, in northeastern Bali, has erupted with various intensities since late previous year and in December the airport was also closed for a period and thousands were evacuated closer to the volcano.

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