Volcanic ash halts flights to north Australian city

SYDNEY: Flights into and out of the northern Australian city of Darwin were cancelled Saturday and some to Bali affected owing to huge ash clouds thrown up by an Indonesian volcano.
Indonesia’s Sangeang Api volcano began erupting Friday and its ash is sweeping south towards Australia, prompting Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia to cancel Darwin flights. “The volcano is continuously erupting,” Tim Birch from the Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin told AFP. Birch said one plume was affecting northern Australia and impacting Darwin and was expected to linger for at least the next 18 hours. Another was located over central Australia which could cause problems for overland flights, while a third was about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Denpasar airport on Indonesia’s Bali.
“All of the plumes will be affecting aviation,” he said. Surono, an Indonesian government volcanologist who goes by one name, said that Sangeang Api was spewing columns of ash up to 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) into the air on Saturday. 

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