Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) informed that the spread of volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Lewotobi Laki-Laki in East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has impacted two airports on Flores Island.

The affected two airports are Frans Seda Airport in Maumere, Sikka District, and Haji Hasan Aroeboesman Airport in Ende District.

"Frans Seda Airport and Haji Hasan Aroeboesman Airport should beware of the volcanic ash spread," Head of the Fransiskus Xaverius Seda Sikka Meteorological Station Ota Thalo said on Sunday.

Based on the existing volcanic ash distribution map, it was confirmed that the affected airports were Frans Seda Sikka and Haji Hasan Aroeboesman Ende.

She explained that the spread of volcanic ash from Mount Lewotobi Laki was observed at a surface height of up to 10,000 feet, and moving southwest at a speed of 15 knots with constant intensity.

According to Thalo, indications of the eruption impact were predicted to last until tomorrow.

"Continue to update information on the distribution of volcanic ash from BMKG," she reminded.

Contacted separately, the Head of the Class II Airport Management Unit (UPBU) of the Frans Seda Maumere Airport, Partahian Panjaitan, said that indications of volcanic ash had caused the closure of flight activities at Frans Seda Airport on Sunday.

Panjaitan informed that flights could return to normal if observations from BMKG and the results of paper tests on the runway were negative.

"If the result is negative, it shows no indication of volcanic ash anymore. Flights can proceed normally,"

According to him, closing flight activities is an important step for aviation safety.

If volcanic ash hits an airplane engine, it could have a bad impact on the flight.

"We urge prospective passengers to coordinate or follow announcements from the airlines," he reminded.

Mount Lewotobi Laki-Laki is an active volcano which is currently at Level III or Alert activity level. On Sunday, it erupted and spewed volcanic ash as high as 1,000 meters above the peak.

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Translator: Fransiska Mariana, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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