BALI, INDONESIA (WMC) - Flights have been canceled and more than 24,000 residents have been moved out of the way as a thick ash cloud from Mount Agung, shot up into the atmosphere and drifted east along the archipelago.
Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised the aviation notice from orange alert to red on Sunday and Ngurah Rai, Bali's main airport has numerous flight cancellations which has stranded roughly 7,000 domestic and international passengers according to the airport.
Mount Agung in eastern Bali erupted three times Saturday, spewing ash into the atmosphere at heights of 2.5 miles. The first eruption occurred around 5:30 local time Saturday with more eruptions continuing into Sunday. By late Saturday the ash plume made it around 4.7 mile into the air according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.
Masks are being disturbed in Bali and Pulau Lombok and public activity is discouraged between 3 to 5 miles from the peak, and those close to the peak of the volcano are encouraged to evacuate.
Bali sits in what is called the "Ring of Fire" or a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In fact, Indonesia volcanoes are some of the most active in the Pacific Ring of Fire.