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Mount Agung erupts for the second time

Mount Agung erupts for the second time

A spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency said the ash cloud was not affecting Denpasar's flight paths and stated that it was still safe to fly in and out of the airport.

The majority of worldwide flights out of Bali have been cancelled after several volcanic eruptions on Mount Agung sent plumes of ash into the skies on Saturday and Sunday.

The latest alert - a red warning - means an eruption is forecast to be "imminent" after nearby locals spotted volcanic ash rain. Ash from the volcano reached some 4,900 feet in the air.

Mount Agung belched smoke as high as 1,500 meters above its summit, twice as high as on Tuesday when smoke sparked an exodus from settlements near the mountain.

The Mount Agung volcano on Bali erupted with greater force Sunday, prompting some airlines to cancel flights to and from the popular resort island and forcing an worldwide airport on a nearby resort island to close, according to local officials.

Ash fall was reported in the villages of North Duda, East Duda, Pempetan, Besakih, Sidemen, Tirta Abang, Sebudi, Bhuana Amerta in Klungkung and in some villages in Gianyar.

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Bali is Indonesia's top tourist destination and its gentle Hindu culture, surf beaches and lush green interior attract about 5 million visitors a year.

An exclusion zone of 7.5km (4.5 miles) remains in place for those near the volcano, with authorities distributing masks to those in close proximity to smoke.

Volcanic ash can damage plane engines.

About 25,000 people have been unable to return to their homes since September, when Agung showed signs of activity for the first time in more than half a century.

"There was concern the volcano was heading for a very major eruption, so far this is fairly minor, but could be worsening", AccuWeather Meteorologist David Samuhel said.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

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