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Bali volcano: India monitoring situation

NEW DELHI: India is monitoring the situation in Bali where a volcano has erupted in Mount Agung, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.

The minister tweeted that she had spoken to Pradeep Rawat, the Indian Ambassador in Jakarta.

“We have set up a facilitation centre at the (Bali) airport and are providing assistance to the stranded Indian nationals there. I am in constant touch with our mission,” she said.

Indonesian authorities on Tuesday extended the closure of Bali’s main airport until Wednesday.

Indonesian officials say Agung continues to erupt and spew water vapour and ash between 2,000 and 3,400 metres high above the crater. There is also seismic activity in the area.

The Bali airport on Monday cancelled 445 domestic and international flights, leaving at least 59,000 passengers stranded. Bali is the main tourist draw in Indonesia, with an annual influx of around 5.4 million foreign tourists, according to official data.

At least 22 towns near the mountain have been affected by the ash and authorities have recommended the use of protective masks for the population. Located in the east of the island, in Karangasem district, Mount Agung is far from most tourist attractions.

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