BALI’s Mount Agung volcano has erupted for the third time this month, shooting lava and flaming rocks three kilometres in all directions.
Agung, which lies about 70km northeast of Balie’s tourist hotspot of Kuta, blew its top about 7.23pm local time on Friday night.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the eruption lasted four minutes and 30 seconds and spread lava and incandescent rocks about three kilometres from the volcano’s crater.
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The dramatic eruption was captured on video and sent volcanic ash and sand spewing over the southern side of the mountain.
Nine villages were blanketed in thick ash, while more than a dozen other villages were affected in the regions of Karangasem and Bangli.
However, the national disaster agency said it wasn’t raising the alert level for the volcano as the villages are well within the four-kilometre exclusion zone which remains in place around the crater.
BALI VOLCANO: This is the moment Mt Agung erupted, lasting 4 mins & 30 secs. The national disaster agency says it spread lava & incandescent rocks 3kms from the crater. 4 flights bound for Bali airport have been diverted while 5 outbound flights have been cancelled. @10NewsFirst pic.twitter.com/DOzynMDNx7
— Kristina Costalos (@kcostalos) May 24, 2019
Several flights to and from Ngurah Rai international airport, about 70km away from the volcano, were cancelled following the eruption, including a handful from Australia.
Four Bali-bound Jetstar flights were scratched, including two from Melbourne and Cairns that were forced to turn around mid-air, however, normal schedules resumed this morning.
Another four Virgin Australia flights due to fly out of Denpasar, bound for Sydney and Brisbane, were delayed and due to depart this afternoon.
The eruption of Mount Agung, Bali, occurred on May 24, 2019 at 7:23 p.m. but the ash column height was not observed. This eruption is recorded on a seismogram with a maximum amplitude of 30 mm & duration of ± 4 minutes 30 seconds.there was a roaring noise at the Observation Post. pic.twitter.com/q1P3yzFhbn
— ( ￣っ￣)ﾑｩ (@Cho_Hamsyonk) May 24, 2019
It’s the third time Mount Agung has erupted this month, with two earlier eruptions on May 12 and May 18.
The stratovolcano is the highest point in Bali, dominating the surrounding area and influencing the climate, particularly rainfall patterns.
It became active again in 2017 after lying dormant for more than a half century following a major eruption in 1963 which killed about 1100 people.
— Carrie Rose (@CarrieRosePR) May 24, 2019