Thousands of passengers traveling home for the Muslim Eid festival have been stranded in Indonesia after five airports were closed because of ash spewing from two erupting volcanoes.
Fears over airspace safety let to the closure of four small airports on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, after fresh eruptions from Mt Raung, on the east of the island.
National airline Garuda Indonesia suspended flights to and from Abdul Rachman Saleh airport in Malang, Blimbingsari airport in Banyuwangi and Noto Hadinegoro airport in Jember.
The same volcano last week temporarily caused the closure of airports including Bali’s Denpasar International.
Meanwhile, volcanic activity on Mt Gamalama, on Indonesia’s North Maluku island, shut Sultan Babullah International airport in Ternate.
Indonesia lies on the so-called Pacific “ring of fire” – an arc of tectonic instability that covers both sides of the vast ocean. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common.
Fine dust clouds produced by volcanoes can cause aircraft engines to malfunction.
The latest incidents come just as many Indonesians will be flying home for the four-day Eid holiday that marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month.
On the flip side, service at the Juanda International Airport of Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia, resumed operations at 12 p.m. local (1 a.m. ET) on Friday after being shut down for almost a day.
Flights to the capital Jakarta from Surabaya resumed at the same time, according to a NOTAM (notice to airman) sent out by Indonesian Air Transport Authorities.
CNN’s Kathy Quiano reported from Jakarta, and Maggie Hiufu Wong from Hong Kong.