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Volcanic ash from Indonesia halts flights to north Australian city

Published on May 31, 2014 4:18 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Flights into and out of the northern Australian city of Darwin were cancelled on Saturday and some to Bali affected due to huge ash clouds thrown up by an Indonesian volcano.

Indonesia's Sangeang Api volcano began erupting on Friday and its ash is sweeping south towards Australia, prompting Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia to cancel Darwin flights.

"The volcano is continuously erupting," Mr Tim Birch from the Bureau of Meteorology's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin said.

Mr 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 over central Australia which could cause problems for overland flights, while a third was about 100km from Denpasar airport on Indonesia's Bali.

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