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Ash blankets villages, flights cancelled after Bali volcano erupts
December 18 2017, 02:54 | Irvin Gilbert
Bali volcano live webcam: Watch Mount Agung ERUPT as tourist hotspot issues 'RED WARNING'
The National Agency for Disaster Management issued a Level 3 alert, recommending no public activities within 6 to 7.5 kilometers (3.5 to 4.5 miles) from the peak.
However, he said some airlines chose to cancel flights between Bali and Australia following the latest volcanic activity.
Qantas, Virgin and Dutch airline KLM soon followed Jetstar's lead in cancelling flights.
The Mount Agung volcano on Bali erupted with greater force Sunday, prompting some airlines to cancel flights to and from the popular resort island and forcing an global airport on a nearby resort island to close, according to local officials.
The blasts have caused ash to fly more than 2,000 meters into the air, the National Disaster Management Agency in Indonesia reported, with ash plume reaching an altitude of 7,600 meters by late Saturday. The airport on neighbouring Lombok was closed later in the day, as the ash cloud was moving to the south-east of the crater towards the island.
But Suantika, head of volcanic mitigation at the centre, said the eruption was not - at least yet - a major explosive one, adding there have been "no increasing tectonic and volcanic tremor activities".
Magma - molten rock - has now been detected close to the volcano's surface, said officials and volcanologists.
Bali is a popular tourist destination for many in the region, with thousands traveling to the island for end of year celebrations.
Mount Agung's alert status was raised to the highest in September following a dramatic increase in tremors from the volcano, which doubled the exclusion zone around the crater and prompted more than 140,000 people to leave the area.
The volcano's last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people.
Indonesia has more active volcanoes than any other country, including some of the world's most famous, such as: Krakatau (Krakatoa), Tambora, and Merapi.