Flights cancelled in Darwin due to volcanic eruption in Indonesia
CANBEERA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- A volcanic eruption in Indonesia has caused the cancellations of the majority of flights in and out of northern Australian city of Darwin on Saturday.
The Sangeang Api volcano, which is located off the north east coast of Sumbawa island, erupted Friday evening.
A spokesperson for Darwin Airport told Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) that all international and domestic Jetstar services, and all domestic Virgin and Qantas flights have been cancelled.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said flights across Australia could be affected for days. "Depending on wind and other weather conditions, the ash has the potential to affect flights to and from other airports, including Brisbane, during coming days," said Truss."This is currently being fully assessed."
Airservices Australia, the nation's air navigation authority, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are all investigating the cloud, Truss said. The BoM said the eruption has caused a volcanic ash cloud that is moving in a south-easterly direction. A spokesperson for the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre said the ash is moving further south and dispersing. "As it begins to move away from the volcano, it begins to dissipate so we see less and less of a signatory in the satellite imagery," the spokesperson told ABC.
"We expect over the next 24 hours it should gradually fade out so it's no longer a significant threat to the area."
Major airliners including Qantas and Virgin Australia are all monitoring weather conditions closely.