Tens of thousands stranded as Bali volcano closes airport

KARANGASEM, Indonesia

KARANGASEM, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities have ordered a mass evacuation of people from an expanded danger zone around an erupting volcano on Bali that closed the island’s international airport, stranding tens of thousands of travelers.

Mount Agung has been hurling clouds of white and dark gray ash into the atmosphere since the weekend, and a mudflow of volcanic debris and water known as a lahar has been seen moving down the volcano’s slopes.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency raised the volcano’s alert to the highest level early Monday and expanded the danger zone to 10 kilometers (6 miles) in places.

Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference in Jakarta that the extension of the danger zone affects 22 villages and about 90,000 to 100,000 people.

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