AirAsia cancels Bali flights after volcano spews ash

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Earlier, authorities were forced to cancel 115 global flights and 203 domestic ones, affecting almost 27,000 travelers.

A man checks flight information board at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia Friday, which now closed due to volcanic ash.

"Micro tremors are still being detected. indicating that magma is moving towards the surface", Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the disaster mitigation agency said.

Australia's national airline Qantas said in a statement that it's "currently not safe" to operate Bali flights.

State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura said in a statement that as of 2.00 p.m. local time, 318 flights, including 115 global ones, had been cancelled, affecting around 27,000 passengers.

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The volcano is about 75 kilometres from Bali's tourist hub in Kuta. The return flight NZ246 from Denpasar to Auckland was also cancelled.

It had a dramatic increase in activity last year, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, but had quietened by early this year.

"They told us the volcano is going off so they rebooked us for this morning and we got here at 5:00 am only to be turned away again".

Long lines at airport in Bali as flights are cancelled or delayed.

"Well it's Bali, these things happen and we are fine with it". Authorities lowered its alert status from the highest level in February.

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Bali's governor said officials were working on getting visitors on their way.

A danger zone has been erected within a 4km radius of the volcano's crater, and some 300 residents from the area around the mountain were evacuated.

"We will try our best to find a solution so all visitors can continue their trip", Made Mangku Pastika said. Its last major eruption in 1963 killed more than 1,000 people and razed several villages. It has been erupting with various intensities since past year.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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