A group of surfers from Sydney wait for updates on their cancelled flight. Picture: AAPThe normally bustling airport on the Indonesian resort island of Bali is a near- ghost town, dotted by anxious n tourists desperate to get home.
The Mount Agung volcano lies a fair distance – about 70 kilomteres away – but the threat it poses is very real, and visible.
Activity at the mountain has ramped up in recent weeks culminating with the cancellation of flights in and out of Bali this week due to a large ash cloud thrown up by the volcano.
Indonesia has raised its alert for Mount Agung to the highest level, warning of the risk of a lava eruption is “imminent”.
Mount Agung, which sits more than 3000 metres high over eastern Bali, last erupted in 1963 killing more than 1000 people and razing several villages.
On Monday night, tourists settled down for the night on makeshift beds on the airport’s dusty floors.
Some were considering making the more than 10-hour journey to Surabaya and catching a series of flights across Indonesia back to .
All are frustrated by what they say is a lack of updated information from their airlines about what happens next.
The first Janeen McKay heard about flight cancellations was in a text from her brother back in as she was on her way to Bali’s airport.
“I had nothing from Jetstar, they had my mobile number,” the West n said.
An empty Bali International Airport after volcanic ash forced its closure.Photo: James Hall
After a 12-hour wait at the airport, she’s now been told she won’t be able to get home until Saturday at the earliest.
“We had a really nice time in Bali but then we get here and this has just ruined it,” Ms McKay said.
“Why does it take five days to get us out of here? Not very happy.”
Ms McKay, an office manager, is keen to get back to Geraldton, north of Perth, to take over the care of her elderly mother from her sister, a nurse, who’s needed back at work on Thursday.
Veronika Naberezhnova is also non-plussed.
“It’s a bit annoying,” the Department of Human Services worker said.
“My family’s waiting there (in Sydney) as well, they’re all waiting, they’re all stressed.”
On the other side of Bali, at Sanur beach, the distant crackle of lightning and an afternoon rain shower were the only annoyances for tourists lounging on sun beds and sipping cocktails.
For them, the airport’s closure means an extended holiday.
Due to the significant volcanic ash and current weather conditions, Denpasar Airport is currently closed. As a result, we have cancelled all flights between Bali and today and Wednesday 29 November. More info available on our Travel Alerts page. https://t成都夜场招聘/LD8rC5LZdZ
— Virgin (@Virgin) November 28, 2017[Travel update] All Wednesday Bali flights cancelled: https://t成都夜场招聘/ipKqIRVLSf#MountAgung#volcanoNext update by 7pm AEDT tonight.
— Jetstar Airways (@JetstarAirways) November 29, 2017
JQ101 to Townsville and JQ117 to Perth –a flight originating in Singapore –won’t be going ahead.