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Volcanic eruptions trap S'pore students in Lombok

CAUSE OF GROUNDED FLIGHTS: Mount Rinjani in Lombok as seen on Oct 26. The mountain is reportedly spouting volcanic dust unpredictably, and the airport on the Indonesian island will be closed until today.


    Nov 09, 2015

    Volcanic eruptions trap S'pore students in Lombok

    A GROUP of students from Singapore is stranded in Lombok as the airport on the Indonesian island remains closed due to volcanic eruptions.

    Flights from Lombok International Airport and Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport were halted on Tuesday due to the eruption of the Barujari crater of Mount Rinjani in Lombok.

    Bali's airport re-opened on Thursday, after nearly 700 flights, including 320 international ones, were cancelled between Tuesday and Thursday.

    The airport in Lombok will be closed until today, a spokesman for the Lombok International Airport told The Straits Times (ST) in an e-mail message.

    The Jakarta Post quoted a spokesman for Garuda Indonesia as saying: "Mount Rinjani is still spouting volcanic dust unpredictably; the clouds continue to hang directly above the island."

    SilkAir flights to and from Lombok yesterday - MI128 and MI127 - were to be cancelled, the airline said.

    It said there were 89 passengers booked on the cancelled flights back to Singapore. This means that the student expedition from Singapore will be held up for a third night on Lombok.

    One of those in the 26-member group is Wong Yuen Lik, who runs outdoor adventure agency X-Trekkers.

    Speaking to ST, he said: "All are safe and sound here." He did not give the name of the school.

    The group arrived on Lombok last Monday and were due to leave on Friday.

    He said that SilkAir is covering part of the group's expenses on accommodation and meals for the extra nights.

    It is unclear when the flights will resume.

    SilkAir said it will continue to monitor the situation closely and resume flights as soon as possible. It has also initiated contact with the Singapore Embassy in Indonesia.