Jakarta. The National Disaster Management Agency, or BNPB, on Sunday morning (26/11) announced that Bali's Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation, or VONA, alert code has been changed to red, the highest, as Mount Agung started to release ash into the atmosphere, following a string of eruptions on Saturday.
"VONA red code is only for the areas where volcanic ash has been detected, it doesn't mean that the airport has to be closed," BNPB data center and public relations head Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
Mount Agung, about 70 kilometers northeast of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, erupted again at about 6:20 a.m. local time, spewing ash up to 4,000 meters to the east and southeast, in the direction of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
The airport, however, operates normally.
"Despite the eruptions, there is no increase in [Mount Agung's] volcanic activity," Sutopo said.
Volcanic ashfall was recorded in several villages in Klungkung and Gianyar. West Lombok, Mataram and North Lombok branches of BNPB advised residents to wear respirators.
As of Saturday, Sutopo said, 25,016 people have been evacuated from settlements near the volcano. All activity is forbidden within a 7.5-kilometer radius of the crater.
Airlines, including AirAsia, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Delta Air Lines and Emirates, are canceling flights from Bali.