Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Sultan Babullah Airport in Ternate, North Maluku, is being closed from Wednesday to Thursday because the airport is covered by volcanic ash from Mount Gamalama.

Head of Public Communication and Information Hemi Pamuraharjo in a text message received here on Wednesday said the runway of Sultan Babullah Airport was covered by thick volcanic ash spewed by the Mount Gamalama.

"The decision to close the airport is made based on a notice to airmen number C04431/16 issued by the Directorate General of Air Communication," Pamuraharjo remarked.

Gamalama has been intermittently active for many decades, with fluctuating seismicity and occasional weak explosions resulting in ash plumes.

Mount Gamalama is a near-conical stratovolcano that comprises the entire Ternate island in Indonesia. An eruption in 1775 caused the deaths of approx 1300 people.

He said further information will continue to be updated and communicated to the public or the passengers.

In July 2015, the Ternate Disaster Mitigation Board (BPBD) evacuated more than 700 people, affected by the eruption of Mount Gamalama.

The eruption prompted the Ternate city government at the time to implement emergency response operations for 14 days, from July 18 to August 1, 2015.

The people were evacuated from the districts of Takome, Loto, and Togafo, which were affected by the volcanic ash spewed by Mount Gamalama.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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