Indonesia Reclaims Normalcy, Reopens Airports After Volcanic Eruption

By @ibtimesau on

Indonesia has started to claim normalcy and control as it reopened on Sunday the airports closed on Java island following Mount Kelud's eruption on Thursday.

Authorities have reopened the airports at Malang City, Cilacap, Semarang, Bandung and Surabaya. The airport in Solo may reopen Monday while Yogyakarta airport may resume on Tuesday. 

"We were informed by the volcanology agency this morning that no more powerful eruptions are expected. So it is safe to fly and flights can resume. We will issue an update via notice to airmen," Herry Bakti, Transport Ministry director-general of aviation, said on Saturday.

A total of 332 flights were cancelled on Friday at Surabaya, 28 at Solo, 110 at Yogyakarta, 76 at Semarang, 16 at Malang, and 24 at Bandung.

Garuda Indonesia, the country's flag-carrier, said most flight routes had resumed, except for Solo and Yogyakarta.

Virgin Australia had resumed its normal flight schedules on Sunday. It said it would check on Monday if it should already resume flights to Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean and to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The Australian carrier resumed on Saturday its flights to Bali and Thailand.

The 1,731-metre Mount Kelud, dormant since 2007, started erupting on Thursday night, sending plumes of ash, rocks and gas 3km into the atmosphere. It ejected 80 million cubic meters of ash into the sky.

At least four people have been confirmed dead on Saturday, the latest of which was a 97-year-old woman who died from breathing difficulties. Some 56,089 people are currently reside in temporary shelters.

Mount Kelud is one of 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia. The volcano is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of seismic activity running around the basin of the Pacific Ocean.

Since 1500, Mount Kelud has claimed more than 15,000 lives, including 10,000 deaths in a 1568 eruption.


Join the Discussion