Vietnamese tourists stranded on Bali with volcanic eruption 'imminent'

By Staff reporters   November 28, 2017 | 02:34 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese tourists stranded on Bali with volcanic eruption 'imminent'
A view of Mount Agung volcano erupting in Bali, Indonesia November 27, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Johannes P. Christo

The volcano’s last eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages.

At least 24 Vietnamese tourists are stuck on the Indonesian resort island of Bali near a massive volcano that has been spewing ash and could erupt at any time.

The Vietnamese embassy in Jakarta said that nine groups of tourists have been stranded following the closure of Ngurah Rai International Airport.

The airport, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Mount Agung, will be closed until at least Wednesday morning, Reuters quoted Indonesia’s transport ministry as saying.

Nine other Vietnamese tourists had managed to leave the island safely before the airport was closed.

The embassy has urged the remaining visitors to find alternative means to leave as soon as possible, suggesting a ferry to the nearby Lombok Island or an 11-hour road trip to Surabaya Juanda International Airport. A bus ticket costs around $22.

The Indonesian government has offered free overnight accomodation for stranded visitors.

Mount Agung rises to a height of more than 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) in eastern Bali.

On Monday, authorities ordered 100,000 residents living near the volcano to evacuate the area immediately, warning that the first major eruption in 54 years could be “imminent”. An 8-10 kilometer exclusion zone has been imposed around the summit, Reuters reported.

The volcano’s last eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages with hot ash, lava and mud.

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center warned that if a similar eruption occurred, it could send rocks bigger than a fist up to 8 kilometers from the summit and volcanic gas a distance of 10 kilometers within three minutes.

 
 
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