• Breaking News

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Ahmad Yani Airport in Semarang Closed After Mt Kelud Eruption

    Tobapos -- State airport operator PT Angkasa Pusa I has closed Ahmad Yani Airport in Semarang following the eruption of Mount Kelud, which spewed volcanic ash right up to the capital of the Central Java province.

    The Ahmad Yani airport was closed on Friday at 11:15 a.m. local time, the general manager of the PT Angkasa Pura I chapter in Semarang's airport said.

    "We have decided to close the airport because the volcanic ash is dangerous [when it affects] the planes' engines," he stated, adding that visibility at the airport had not been hampered by the rain of ash.

    Before the Semarang airport was closed, four planes flew out, bound for Jakarta.

    The Indonesian transportation ministry had previously announced that three international airports, Djuanda in Surabaya (East Java), Adi Sucipto in Yogyakarta, and Adi Soemarmo in Solo (Central Java), were closed on Friday due to the rain of volcanic ash.

    Mount Kelud, located in East Java, had erupted powerfully on Thursday at 10:50 p.m. local time, spewing millions of cubic meters of volcanic material, such as ash and gravel, up to a height of 17 km.

    The explosive eruption affected 35 villages within a radius of 10 km from the mountain's summit. These villages are located in nine sub-districts across three districts: Blitar, Kediri and Malang.

    A total of 201,228 people, or 58,341 families, were forced to evacuate when the eruption occurred.

    The national meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency (BMKG) confirmed that the volcanic ash and gravel had mostly been directed towards the west, affecting a number of cities, such as Pacitan, Ponorogo, Wonogiri, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Sleman, Kulon Progo, Purworejo, Kebumen, Solo, Boyolali, Salatiga, and Temanggung.

    Meanwhile, the volcanic material that scattered in the eastern direction affected Malang, Surabaya, Banyuwangi, Ampenan (West Nusa Tenggara), and many others.

    It is estimated that Mount Kelud could spew a total of 200 million cubic meters of volcanic ash during the eruption, the head of the Yogyakarta Geological Disaster Technology Development and Research claimed in Yogyakarta on Friday. (ant/adm)

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