Eruption of Indonesian volcano sparks travel chaos

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A volcanic eruption on Indonesia's main island of Java has sparked chaos for holidaymakers as international airlines cancel flights to the resort island of Bali.

Mount Raung in East Java province, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Bali's international airport, blasted ash and debris 3,800 meters (12,460 feet) into the air Friday. Authorities have closed five Indonesian airports due to the risks posed by volcanic ash.

Transport Ministry spokesman Julius Adravida Barata said the ministry issued a notice late Thursday for all airlines to avoid routes near the mountain.

The volcano has proven particularly problematic for Australians, who flock to Bali during Australia's school holiday break.

Dozens of flights between Australia and Bali's Denpasar airport by carriers Jetstar and Virgin Australia have been canceled over the past week.