Indonesia volcano eruption shuts airport

Jakarta, July 16 (IANS) The eruption of Mount Gamalama in Indonesia’s Ternate island on Thursday has prompted the shutdown of its domestic Sultan Babullah Airport.

“It was shut down at 10 a.m. after Mount Gamalama erupted,” transport ministry spokesman J.A. Barata said.

Barata said the re-opening of the airport is based on the weather conditions of the area, The Jakarta Post reported.

Mount Gamalama erupted, spewing dark clouds of volcanic ash around 1,500 metres into the sky. The volcano had shown an increase in activity since Wednesday with at least 90 volcanic tremors recorded.

Its last eruption was in December 2014. The eruption disrupted economic activities in Ternate and forced air authorities to shut the airport for two weeks because of the thick volcanic ash.

A thick cloud of ash from one of the most active volcanoes of the country in Java island, Mount Raung, also caused the shutdown of the airport in Indonesia’s second-biggest city, Surabaya, on Thursday.

Bali’s Denpasar International Airport was also shut twice last week due to ash emanating from Raung.

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