Asia

Indonesia volcanic ash shuts more airports on Eid eve

View of Mt Raung earlier this week Image copyright AP
Image caption Mt Raung has been throwing up ash causing disruption to flights since last week

Ash spewing from two volcanoes in Indonesia has shut three more airports, which means five are now closed as millions head home for the Eid holiday.

The closures were sparked by eruptions at Mount Raung and Mount Gamalama.

Raung, which has been rumbling for weeks, led to airport closures last week including at tourist hotspot Bali - that has since reopened.

But thousands remain stranded at other airports including at Surabaya, Indonesia's second biggest city.

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Media captionFootage from 10 July showed ash billowing into the sky forcing the closure of Bali airport

On Thursday evening officials ordered shut the airports serving Surabaya and Malang in East Java - near Raung - and Ternate in North Maluku, near Gamalama.

Two other airports have remained closed since last week - Banyuwangi and Jember near Raung.

The eruption came on the eve of Friday's Eid holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

It is a major occasion in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, where many journey home to celebrate with their families.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many were left stranded at Juanda International Airport at Surabaya on Thursday night

Volcanic ash can be dangerous for planes as it can get sucked into engines and melts.

It could then turn into a kind of molten glass that coats the inside of engines and affects fuel flow, which can cause engines to shut off.

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