Ternate Airport closed due to Mt. Gamalama`s eruption

Ternate Airport closed due to Mt. Gamalama`s eruption

Garuda Indonesia aircraft at Sultan Babullah, Ternate, North Maluku, failed to fly because of the eruption of Mount Gamalama. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

The Note to Airmen would be kept updated in line with the development of volcanic ash dispersed from Mount Gamalama."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Sultan Baabullah Airport in Ternate, North Maluku, has been closed due to the eruption of Mount Gamalama.

Head of Public Communication Center of the Ministry of Transportation Julis Andravida noted in a written statement received here on Thursday that the closure had been extended from initially 1:14 p.m. Eastern Indonesia Time (WIT) to 4:14 p.m. WIT and then to 10 p.m. WIT.

He affirmed that the decision was taken based on a Notice to Airmen Number C0554/15 issued by the Directorate General of Air Communication.

"The Note to Airmen would be kept updated in line with the development of volcanic ash dispersed from Mount Gamalama," he remarked.

The people in the North Maluku city were jolted by tremors when Mount Gamalama erupted, spewing volcanic ash on Thursday morning.

Head of the Volcano Monitoring Post Darno Lamane stated that the volcano began showing an increase in activity on Wednesday, and 90 volcanic tremors were recorded.

"We would continue to observe the activities of the 1.7 thousand meter high volcano to determine if it is necessary to evacuate the people of Ternate," Darno affirmed.

He stated that the people, however, have been warned to not venture within a radius of 1.5 thousand meters from the peak of the volcano.

The volcano last erupted in December 2014, disrupting flight schedules to and from Ternate.

The airport was closed for two weeks and almost paralyzed the economy of the small island of Ternate.

Several airports such as in Bali and Surabaya, East Java, have also been closed recently due to the eruption of Mount Raung in Banyuwangi, East Java.

(Reporting by Juwita Trisna Rahayu/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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