Eruption of Indonesian volcano sparks travel chaos
BALI, Indonesia — Ash spewing from a volcano on Indonesia’s main island of Java sparked chaos for holidaymakers as airports closed and international airlines cancelled flights to tourist hotspot Bali, stranding thousands. Mount Raung in East Java province, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) from Bali’s international airport, has been rumbling for several weeks. The level of activity increased in the past week and on Friday it blasted ash and debris 3,800 metres (12,460 feet) into the air. Government volcanologist Gede Suantika said the eruption forced authorities to close five airports due to the risks posed by volcanic ash, though two airports on Lombok island reopened Friday afternoon. The Transport Ministry told airlines to avoid routes near the mountain. It said a decision about reopening other airports would be made later Friday. Suantika said lava and ash fall from the 3,332-meter (10,930-feet) -high mountain on Indonesia’s most densely populated island also caused the government to urge people to stay away from a three-kilometre (two-mile) - high danger zone around the volcano.