Volcanic eruption disrupts flights

Last updated 12:17 31/05/2014
A major volcanic eruption in Indonesia that has caused the cancellation of all flights in and out of Darwin International Airport has so far had no effect on Air New Zealand.
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THE ERUPTING SPOT: Sangeang Api as seen on Google Maps.

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A major volcanic eruption in Indonesia has caused the cancellation of all flights in and out of Darwin International Airport.

Sangeang Api, off the northeast coast of the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, erupted on Friday evening.
Emile Jansons, the manager of the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology in Darwin, said a massive volcanic ash  cloud was affecting Australian air space, AAP reported.

It had reached the Kimberley coast in Western Australia. "It is spreading east and it may dissipate, so it is not clear how far east it will get, Jansons said.

''It is not yet clear if it will affect the eastern seaboard.''

Volcanic ash can be hazardous to aircraft, with decisions about whether or not to fly resting with individual airlines.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the eruption was having no impact on the airline's services for now.

"We don't have anything operating in the vicinity of that," she said. The company was monitoring the situation.

Mail Online reported ash from the volcano was estimated to have gone 19km into the sky.

Scores of farmers who worked but do not live on the island were ordered to leave and not return until the volcano had finished erupting, said Muhammad Hendrasto, head of Indonesia's National Volcanology Agency. 

There were not believed to have been any deaths or injuries as a result of the eruption.

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