The airlines of Bali, Indonesia have introduced extra flights for the stranded tourists. The airlines allow some of the thousands of passengers trapped by the sudden eruption of the volcanic mountain Mount Agung to fly out, as a switch in wind direction sent volcanic ash away from the holiday island’s airport.
Mount Agung was partially shrouded by cloud with parts of Bali lashed by monsoon rain, but according to officials there were persistent tremors from the crater.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said that Mount Agung continues to erupt, ejecting volcanic ash up to 2,000 meters (6,500 ft) in height. Earlier in the week, Mount Agung had ejected showers of rocks up to four km (two miles).
The reopening on Wednesday afternoon of Bali’s airport, which is about 60 km (37 miles) away from Mount Agung, followed a demote in an aviation warning to one level below the most serious, with the arrival of more favorable winds.
As Bali’s airport was open again after a more than two-day closure, the airport on neighbouring Lombok island was closed on Thursday due to ash from Mount Agung.
There are two Chinese state-owned airlines on Wednesday night sent flights to get more than 2,700 Chinese tourists from Bali. While the China Southern Airlines sent two planes from Guangzhou and Shenzhen, while China Eastern Airlines flew in four from Beijing and Shanghai. In January-September, Bali received more than 4.5 million foreign tourist arrivals, which is nearly half of the 10.5 million arrivals in Indonesia. The Chinese tourists have overtaken Australians to become the top visitors to Bali, representing around a quarter of arrivals.