November 4, 2015 / 6:39 AM / in 2 years

Nearly 700 flights canceled as Bali airport closed over volcanic eruption

Passengers spend their time at a waiting room as all flights are cancelled at the Ngurah Rai airport in Bali, November 4, 2015 in this picture taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Nyoman Budhiana/Antara Foto

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia has closed Bali airport, one of its busiest international terminals, cancelling hundreds of flights, because of ash spewed by a volcano on a nearby island, authorities said on Wednesday.

The resort island’s Ngurah Rai airport will be closed until Thursday morning and will reopen after a re-evaluation of the situation, officials said.

“A total of 692 flights have been canceled,” airport authorities said in a statement.

Mount Rinjani on the nearby island of Lombok has been spewing ash since last weekend.

“Tremors due to volcanic activities are continuously recorded and potential of more eruption is still high,” the meteorological agency said in a statement.

Media reported the volcanic eruption had also delayed the deportation of one of India’s most-wanted men, Rajendra Nikalje, widely known as Chhota Rajan. He was arrested in Bali last week after a two-decade-long international manhunt.

Tens of thousands of travelers in Bali were stranded during peak holiday season in July when the airport was closed due to volcanic eruptions on Mount Raung in East Java.

Reporting by Bernadette Christina and Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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