By Made Sentana and Ben Otto
JAKARTA, Indonesia — New eruptions at a volcano in Bali shut down Indonesia’s second-busiest airport, disrupting the plans of thousands of vacationers.
Authorities raised the alert level at Mount Agung one notch to four, the highest, as the volcano spewed black ash more than two miles into the sky—roaring to life two months after tremors forced the temporary evacuation of more than 130,000 people .
Ngurah Rai International Airport, which handles as many as 420 flights a day to and from the popular resort island, closed Monday morning, forcing seven flights already in the air to divert to cities on the main island of Java. Airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim said 59,000 passengers had been affected. Authorities at Ngurah Rai International Airport said that 45 flights were canceled Sunday by Cathay Pacific Airways /zigman2/quotes/203532437/delayed HK:293 -0.67% , Jetstar, AirAsia and Garuda Indonesia, affecting more than 5,500 passengers.
Officials said the airport would remain closed for at least 24 hours as they assess the giant clouds of ash. They also enlarged an off-limits zone to up 6 miles from the volcano’s peak and said tens of thousands people inside the area need to evacuate.
The airport and the main beachside resorts—the major draw for some five million foreign tourists annually—are more than 30 miles away, and the government’s disaster-mitigation agency said the largest tourist areas are safe.
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