Volcano erupts in Indonesia's Bali, disrupts Australia flights

National disaster agency says the eruption lasted four minutes and spread lava about three kilometres from the crater.

    Thick smoke and glow from lava are seen as Mount Agung volcano erupts in Karangasem Regency, Bali [Wayan Kartika/Reuters]
    Thick smoke and glow from lava are seen as Mount Agung volcano erupts in Karangasem Regency, Bali [Wayan Kartika/Reuters]

    A volcano has erupted on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, causing some overnight flight cancellations to and from Australia as an ash cloud rose into the sky, officials said.

    According to the national disaster agency, the eruption lasted four minutes and 30 seconds and spread lava and incandescent rocks about 3km from the crater.

    Nine villages experienced thick ash fall. There were no reports of casualties.

    Flights run by Qantas Airways, JetStar and Virgin Airlines were operating normally on Saturday.

    Authorities had 50,000 masks available as a precaution though the alert level on the volcano remained unchanged and there had been no evacuations.

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    Photographs of Agung overnight showed an ash column and glowing lava in the crater of the volcano, which rises majestically over eastern Bali at a height of just over 3,000 metres.

    In late 2017, authorities raised the alert level on Agung after a spike in activity, triggering evacuations and travel chaos at the time.

    The alert level has since been lowered but the rumbling Agung has erupted intermittently since then occasionally disrupting flights.

    A major eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages

    Bali, famous for its surf, beaches and temples, attracts around five million visitors a year.

    SOURCE: News agencies