Ash from Indonesian volcano forces airport to shut

Indonesia has about 500 volcanoes, nearly 130 of them active.

Updated: Nov 29, 2010, 16:03 PM IST

Jakarta: Ash eruptions from Mount Bromo volcano forced the closure of a nearby airport in Indonesia`s East Java province, an official said on Monday.

Transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said the Abdurahman Saleh Airport in Malang district would be closed to civilian flights for at least five days.

Gede Suantika, head of the Centre of Vulcanology and Geological Mitigation, said volcanic ash from a series of eruptions caused a risk to air traffic to and from the city of Malang.

Mount Bromo`s status was upgraded to top alert Friday and placed off-limits to visitors, but no evacuation order was issued for residents living nearby.

The 2,329-metre peak, about 750 km east of Jakarta, is a popular tourist destination. Two tourists were killed when the volcano erupted in 2004.

Indonesia has about 500 volcanoes, nearly 130 of them active and 68 classified as dangerous.

IANS