Volcanic Eruption Closes Indonesia’s Denpasar Airport

An eruption by the Gunung Rinjani volcano on nearby Lombok Island has forced a temporary closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, disrupting hundreds of flights from across the region and Australia. The volcano, situated some 40 miles south of Bali, began erupting on Nov.1, sending an ash plume up to 6,500 ft. over the surrounding islands. Reports indicate the cloud had been blown as close as six nautical miles from Bali’s Ngurah Rai, and completely over Bandar Udara International Airport on Lombok. Airport authorities decided to close both airports for several hours earlier this week, and have now completely stopped all operations at both airports as of Wednesday, Nov. 4, local time. Airport authorities said they will remain closed until Thursday morning, when the situation will be re-evaluated. Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia issued a statement saying it has suspended flights to both Ngurah Rai Airport and Blimbingsari Airport near Banyuwangi until Thursday morning. Singapore Airlines has postponed several flights and said it was monitoring the situation.