Bali ash cloud strands Kiwis

  • 04/11/2015
Volcanic ash is seen during an eruption inside the crater of Mount Rinjani (Reuters)
Volcanic ash is seen during an eruption inside the crater of Mount Rinjani (Reuters)

Kiwi holiday makers have been stranded in Bali after more flights in and out of the tourist destination were cancelled due to a volcanic ash cloud.

Jetstar and Virgin Australia cancelled all flights to and from Bali today as the nearby Mt Rinjani continued to spew ash, creating a cloud of debris making air transport unsafe.

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said up to 100 customers were stranded in Bali, and about 100 more were due there in the next two weeks.

"It's light just because of this time of year, but what you don't know with these volcanoes is just how long these things last," he said.

Some of the stranded passengers might not be due to leave until next week, by which time the ash could have cleared, he said.

He advised customers travelling over the next few days to stay in close contact with their airline and travel agent.

A decision on tomorrow's flights will be made by the airlines after further advice is received from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin.

The Denpasar and Lombok airports have been closed and there are reports authorities will also shut East Java airport.

Ash from the Barujari Crater on Mt Rinjani, on the island of Lombok east of Bali, has been blowing toward the Denpasar airport for about a week since the volcano started emitting debris on October 25 after an eruption.

It's the second time in recent months that volcanic eruptions in Indonesia have caused chaos for travellers holidaying in Bali.

A corrosive silica-based ash cloud thrown up by Mt Raung in the same area in July caused concerns until it began to ebb in August.

Satellite images show thin ash covering the Lombok Strait, Bali, the Bali Strait and as far as Banyuwangi, the eastern most part of Java.

Seven villages in North Lombok are getting "ash rain" and 4000 masks have been distributed.

Visiting or camping in Rinjani is now prohibited within a 3km radius from Barujari Crater.

NZN