Bali flights turmoil as ash cloud moves back

December 02, 2017
Live stream of Mount Agung
Video capture of live stream of Mount Agung's ash cloud

The race to get stranded passengers off Bali has been thrown into turmoil again by rapidly changing conditions as the ash cloud starts to move back.

Australia’s Jetstar canceled seven of today’s rescue flights while Virgin Australia axed all its flights.

All flights for the Australian based airlines, including Qantas for Sunday, have been canceled, although Jetstar says it will review the situation Sunday morning and may operate rescue flights in the afternoon.

But the prospects are dim and Monday does not look promising.

Denpasar Airport remains open but is expected to close Sunday.

None of the Australian airlines are taking passengers to Bali because of ongoing concerns about an explosive eruption, which is forecast by volcanologists.

Seismograph of Mount Agung
Latest seismograph of Mount Agung taken at 3pm Bali time December 2

It says that it will review that position over coming days.

SEE Virgin Australia’s ash assessment video here 

It added that its “senior pilots will make further assessments tomorrow morning based on the latest information from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

The latest graphics from the VAAC show the wind changing later today bring the ash cloud back towards Denpasar Airport.

VAAC ash cloud forecast
VAAC ash cloud forecast for the next 24 hours

A major escalation of the eruption is expected at any time.

SEE latest satellite imagery for the volcano here

However, there has been a reduction in the amount of ash coming from Mount Agung prompting some officials to comment that the eruption may be over.

But on Twitter, noted volcanologist Dr Janine Krippner said that “this does not mean it is over”.

“Fluctuations in activity are a normal part of the life of volcanoes,” Dr Krippner said.

Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Centre also warned that a more violent eruption remains likely with the crater of Mount Agung’s one third filed with magma.

“We calculate it based on the monitoring results of Himawari satellite images of seismic recording data, deformation and geochemistry,” said Gede Suantika at the Agung Observation Post in Rendang Village