UPDATE: Bali, Mt Agung

1 Dec 2017

Officials closed Lombok International Airport (LOP) on November 30, as ash from the Mount Agung volcano shifted direction. The closure will be in effect until December 1, but could be extended further depending on wind patterns. As of the morning of November 30, Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) remains open, but short-notice closures are possible if winds change direction and columns of smoke and ash from the rumbling volcano pose a risk to flights. Airport closures could be protracted if volcanic activity continues at the current level or intensifies. Depending on winds and the duration of the eruption, ash could be carried aloft and affect operations at other airports in eastern Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands (Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara), or possibly northern Australia, although problems have so far been concentrated around Bali, Lombok, and the easternmost part of Java. 

The airport closures have affected airline network operations, particularly since DPS handles many flights to and from destinations in eastern Indonesia. Individual airlines could still cancel flights after the airports reopen if airborne ash continues to be a problem on standard flight routes or approach paths to airports on Bali or Lombok. Transcontinental flights between Australia and Asia and the Middle East have been largely unaffected; some planes have detoured away from normal routes over Bali, but this has not added much time to flights. 

On November 30, the governor of Bali extended a state of emergency on the island until December 10, due to the possibility of a huge eruption of Mount Agung in the next few days. The alert status of Mount Agung remains at four - the highest on Indonesia's four-point scale - after it was raised early on November 27. Authorities have ordered residents living near the volcano to evacuate, and more people could be ordered to leave an exclusion zone that has been extended up to 10 km (6 miles) from the volcano. Many foreign governments are advising their citizens to defer travel to Bali until the situation improves. 

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