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Bali airport stays closed due to volcanic ash

Staff Writer |
Indonesian authorities said Tuesday they have extended the closure of Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport for a further 24 hours because of ash from the eruption of Mt. Agung.

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The National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said the airport closure is required for safety reasons since the volcanic ash reached a height of about 3 kilometers (about 2 miles) into the atmosphere.

"The immediate impact of the ash distribution is the disruption of aviation safety," BNPB's spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

The Transportation Ministry initially closed the airport Monday morning for 24 hours, cancelling more than 400 flights and stranding nearly 60,000 domestic and international passengers.

BNPB raised the volcano's alert to the highest level Monday and expanded an exclusion zone to 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the crater. More than 100,000 people living around the mountain area have been ordered to evacuate.

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