Indonesia: China sends 6 planes to evacuate tourists hit by volcano eruption

Beijing    –      China has sent six charter airplanes to Indonesia to evacuate 17,000 Chinese tourists, who remain stuck in the airport of Denpasar, since the eruption of Mount Agung, local media reported on Thursday.

According to the China Central Television, four of the sent planes belong to China Eastern Airlines and the two others to China Southern Airlines.

The planes took off from airports in the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The first eruption of Mount Agung happened on Nov. 21, when the volcano burst ash 700 meters (2,296 feet) into the air from its crater.

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On Sunday, the second eruption took place, with the ash plume reaching 4,000 meters.

The Indonesian Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation subsequently raised the alert level for the active volcano to its highest level (Level 4), after which Indonesian authorities closed the international airport on Bali due air traffic risks.

The airport was re-opened on Wednesday, when the number of tourists stranded on the island, according to media reports, reached nearly 100,000 people.

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