Jetstar and Qantas have been forced to cancel Bali rescue flights as information shows the ash cloud has shifted ahead of an imminent volcanic eruption.
With passengers stranded on the holiday island, the two airlines were hoping to beat the clock and avoid wind changes ahead of the expected explosion of Mt Agung, Perth Now reported.
Both airlines will continue 11 flights throughout Friday but neither will carry passengers to Bali.
Jetstar and Qantas forced were forced to cancel Bali rescue flights on Friday
The ash cloud has shifted and strong winds hint toward an imminent eruption
Mount Agung has been spewing black columns of volcanic ash for more than a week, creating a dramatic skyline over the area – which is part of one of the world’s most popular resort islands.
According to the Indonesian seismic reports, tremors were recorded on Thursday and overnight.
The time between each shake was decreasing and the size of the tremors was getting stronger, making an eruption highly likely.
Meanwhile, a ‘significant reduction’ in the amount of ash flowing from Mount Agung has stirred speculation the scare may be subsiding.
Volcanologist Dr Janine Krippner however said on Twitter that ‘this does not mean it is over’.
‘Fluctuations in activity are a normal part of the life of volcanoes,’ Dr Krippner said.
Mount Agung has been spewing black columns of volcanic ash for more than a week
Over 100,000 locals remain displaced as the volcano emits a bright orange glow
On Wednesday a Qantas spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia no flights have been rescheduled, but passengers may have been put on other flights, which could be weeks away.
When the Denpasar airport reopens Qantas will put on extra flights, allowing those passengers to leave much earlier, the spokesperson said.
‘Any customers on cancelled Bali flights have been proactively moved to our next available scheduled services for now, where there is limited availability over the peak travel period,’ they said in a statement.
‘As has been the case in previous disruptions of this nature, when it is safe to resume flying, we plan to get our customers moving quickly by operating additional services where possible.’
Tourists wait to depart from the island as tremors were recorded on Thursday and overnight
A dramatic skyline has been created over the area – which is part of one of the world’s most popular resort islands
Tourists get information from airport officials as they wait to depart from the island at Ngurah Rai International Airport
More than 100,000 locals remain displaced as the volcano emits a bright orange glow around its crater and gushes ash as high as 7,600m into the air.
Devy Kamil Syahbana, of the PVMBG, told Reuters the scale of the impact is hard to estimate.
‘We cannot predict whether it will be bigger than 1963, but according to our evaluation the potential for a full-scale eruption is still high.’
In 1963 the Mt Agung eruption killed more than 1600 and lasted over a year.