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Indonesia closes airport in E. region due to volcanic eruption

(Xinhua)

16:07, December 05, 2011

JAKARTA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) - A senior official at the transportation ministry said here on Monday that the authority had to close down the operation of Sultan Baabullah airport in Ternate, North Maluku following the eruption of Gamalama volcano in the area.

Bambang Ervan, public relations officer at the ministry said that the closure was aimed at guaranteeing the flight safety as the ash from the volcano eruption would jeopardize flights in and out of the airport.

"The airport would be closed down from 6 a.m. local time today until 6 a.m. tomorrow," Bambang said.

Bambang said that the volcanic ash may harm the pilot's vision capability and may disrupt the plane's engines, according to the largest news portal detik.com.

The Gamalama volcano in North Maluku province erupted on Sunday night, spewing ashes into the air. The authority has stepped the status into alert for the public living round the volcano.

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