Stranded tourists could be stuck in Bali for WEEKS after the dramatic eruption of Mt Agung shut down the island's only airport trapping nearly 60,000 holidaymakers – as experts warn the worst is yet to come

  • Authorities issue red alert aviation warning as Mount Agung continues to erupt
  • Magma has reached surface of volcano in Bali amid fears of 'explosive eruption'
  • Holiday plans thrown into disarray as ash forced cancellation of dozens of flights
  • Denpasar International Airport was prepared for the worst - and has now closed?

Australian passengers left stranded after flights to Bali were cancelled due to a volcanic ash cloud have arranged to fly to Jakarta but most are waiting 24 hours to see if Denpasar Airport reopens.

All flights to and from Bali were cancelled on Monday after ash spewing from the Mount Agung volcano forced the closure of the island's international airport.

Indonesian authorities have said 100,000 people should evacuate the expanded danger zone around the volcano.

They?have imposed a 10km exclusion zone around the volcano which has been hurling ash thousands of metres into the atmosphere since the weekend.

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More than 50,000 travellers a day could soon be stranded in Bali as authorities issue a 'red alert' warning and Mount Agung continues to erupt. The volcano is pictured on Sunday

More than 50,000 travellers a day could soon be stranded in Bali as authorities issue a 'red alert' warning and Mount Agung continues to erupt. The volcano is pictured on Sunday

Flight cancellations have forced travellers to sleep at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport

Flight cancellations have forced travellers to sleep at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport

Some of their frustrations were aired on Facebook, with customers either very pleased they had been moved to temporary accommodation or livid they had been left out

Some of their frustrations were aired on Facebook, with customers either very pleased they had been moved to temporary accommodation or livid they had been left out

All flights were cancelled at 7am local time and the airport will remain closed until further notice

All flights were cancelled at 7am local time and the airport will remain closed until further notice

Maureen Steele and Jackie Calabretta were scheduled to fly on a Garuda Indonesia flight from Sydney via Bali to Jakarta on Monday for an orangutan tour.

They were up at 4am to travel from Gosford and Wollongong to make the 10am flight which cost $700 return.

'We were on the plane, all strapped in ready for departure, when the cabin crew announced they needed to wait 10 minutes to get clearance,' Ms Steele said at Sydney Airport.

'They told us they didn't get clearance so we all had to get off again.'

As they passed back through customs, Ms Calabretta contacted Malaysia Airlines and booked a new flight costing $600 one-way to Jakarta via Kuala Lumpur.

'We have to go - we've paid hundreds of dollars on the vaccinations and there have been lots of preparations,' Ms Steele said as they settled in for a 10-hour wait.

Magma has now reached the surface of the volcano, which threatens to produce a 'strong, explosive eruption,' authorities warned

Magma has now reached the surface of the volcano, which threatens to produce a 'strong, explosive eruption,' authorities warned

Customers have spent hours lining up for information about their flights. This traveller is seen at?Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday

Customers have spent hours lining up for information about their flights. This traveller is seen at?Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday

A group of eight surfers are hoping they'll be able to fly to Bali on Tuesday.

James Hall, 18, said the Sydney friends had been planning their Sumatra surf trip for more than a year.

'It's frustrating, we've been told we might be able to fly tomorrow, so we just have to wait it out,' Mr Hall told AAP at Sydney's international terminal.

'There's not much we can do - it's a volcano.'

The latest data from Agoda shows Bali is the number one destination for Australians travelling in December.

University of Adelaide geologist Mark Tingay says the eruptions from Mount Agung have sent plumes of ash 3000 metres into the air.

Balinese Hindus take part in a ceremony on Sunday, where they pray near Mount Agung in hope of preventing a volcanic eruption

Balinese Hindus take part in a ceremony on Sunday, where they pray near Mount Agung in hope of preventing a volcanic eruption

The Mount Agung volcano spews hot volcanic ash as a local chops wood in the foreground

The Mount Agung volcano spews hot volcanic ash as a local chops wood in the foreground

'The volcanic eruption has moved on to the next, more severe, magmatic eruption phase, where highly viscous lava can trap gasses under pressure, potentially leading to an explosion,' he said in a statement.

Jetstar, Virgin, Qantas and Garuda advised passengers on Monday morning that all flights were cancelled.

The decision was made on safety grounds and reversed earlier expectations that flights would go ahead.

'While these disruptions are frustrating, we will always put safety before schedule,' Jetstar said in a statement.

On Saturday Jetstar diverted three flights heading to Bali and cancelled six flights ready to leave the island

On Saturday Jetstar diverted three flights heading to Bali and cancelled six flights ready to leave the island

Jetstar was forced to cancel numerous flights on Saturday and the following morning but was back on schedule by Sunday evening (stock image)

Jetstar was forced to cancel numerous flights on Saturday and the following morning but was back on schedule by Sunday evening (stock image)

Jetstar will next update passengers about 7pm after further advice from the Bureau of Meteorology's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

Virgin says it's closely monitoring the situation 'and will provide further updates as they become available'.

Dozens of flights were also cancelled on Sunday because of the volcanic ash.

Indonesia's Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation raised its aviation colour code from orange to red indicating a further eruption with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere was imminent.

Mount Agung in eastern Bali last erupted in 1963 killing more than 1000 people and razing several villages.?

Authorities raised the volcano alert to the highest level on Monday and ordered people within 10km of the mountain to evacuate amid fears of a major eruption.?

Magma has now reached the surface of the volcano, which threatens to produce a?'strong, explosive eruption,' authorities warned.

'The activity of Mount Agung has entered the magmatic eruption phase,' an Indonesian official said on Sunday.?

Mount Agung volcano is seen spewing smoke and ash in Bali on Sunday. The ash has thrown holiday plans into disarray

Mount Agung volcano is seen spewing smoke and ash in Bali on Sunday. The ash has thrown holiday plans into disarray

Tourists watch the Mount Agung volcano erupting as they visit a temple in Karangasem, Indonesia

Tourists watch the Mount Agung volcano erupting as they visit a temple in Karangasem, Indonesia

'It is still spewing ash at the moment but we need to monitor and be cautious over the possibility of a strong, explosive eruption.'

Mt Agung erupted on Saturday evening and three times on Sunday, throwing holiday plans into disarray.

Indonesia's Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation raised its aviation colour code from orange to red, indicating a further eruption with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere was imminent.

Mt Agung sits more than 3000 metres high over eastern Bali. It last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people and razing several villages.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology's Volanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin issued maps showing an ash cloud heading southeast over the neighbouring island of Lombok away from Bali's capital Denpasar, where the international airport is located.?

RUMBLES FROM BALI'S MOUNT AGUNG?

WHERE IS THE VOLCANO?

- Mount Agung rises about 3,000m above Bali's Karangasem district, in the holiday island's east

- Bali lies within the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic and volcanic activity where thousands of tremors occur each year

WHAT IS THE VOLCANO'S HISTORY OF ERUPTIONS?

- Its last major eruption in 1963 killed over 1,000 people and razed many villages

- More than 50,000 Indonesians were evacuated in September this year when experts warned an eruption was imminent

- Some 25,000 people have been unable to return to their homes?

AirAsia and Virgin Australia flights between Denpasar and Australia remained grounded on Sunday night

AirAsia and Virgin Australia flights between Denpasar and Australia remained grounded on Sunday night

'The volcano and movement of ash cloud are highly unpredictable which means we may need to cancel flights at short notice,' Jetstar warned on its website (stick image)

'The volcano and movement of ash cloud are highly unpredictable which means we may need to cancel flights at short notice,' Jetstar warned on its website (stick image)

Passengers wait for their flight schedule at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport on Sunday?

Passengers wait for their flight schedule at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport on Sunday?

WHEN DID THE LATEST ERUPTION BEGIN AND WHY??

November 21

- Minor eruption begins with a plume of ash and steam rising about 700m from the volcano

- Authorities hold off issuing an alert and Bali's Denpasar airport remains open

- Volcanologists say it was caused by magma heating water, also known as a phreatic eruption

November 25

- Three minor eruptions recorded, with a plume rising 4000m and leaving nearby villages coated in a thin layer of ash

- An exclusion zone of 7.5km from the volcano put in place

- Jetstar cancels nine flights between Bali and Australia or Singapore; delays several scheduled Sunday flights

- Qantas diverts flight from Sydney to Denpasar to Darwin

- Virgin Australia diverts flight from Port Hedland to Bali; delays two flights from Denpasar to Australia

- AirAsia cancels flights between Australia and Bali

- A total of eight international flights to Bali and 13 international flights departing the island cancelled, with 2000 passengers stranded

- Ash cloud moves towards neighbouring island of Lombok

- Government volcanologist Gede Suantika estimates Agung could spew ash for at least a month

November 26

- Indonesia's Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation updates aviation colour code from orange to red, indicating a further eruption with significant emission of volcanic ash

- After resuming flights on Sunday morning, Virgin Australia cancels flights in the afternoon

- AirAsia cancels remaining flights to Bali and Lombok

- Qantas and Jetstar flights were continuing in the afternoon

- Experts say the eruption has switched to a magmatic type eruption from a steam-driven one; predict ash cloud could reach more than 6000m

November 27

- Indonesian authorities raise alert for Mount Agung to the highest level; orders people within 10km to leave

- Experts warn of an 'imminent' risk of a larger eruption

- Bali's international airport closes for 24hrs; authorities to consider reopening on Tuesday

- Australia's Bureau of Meteorology says ash plume has risen to 9144m, with ash falling at Denpasar Airport

- BOM expects eruptions and ash to continue for at least 24 hours?

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