News National Flights to Bali resume as ash disperses

Flights to Bali resume as ash disperses

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Flights between Australia and Bali have mostly resumed as ash plumes from a volcano on the eastern Indonesian island of Sumbawa continue to disperse.

Two Jetstar flights out of Perth and bound for Denpasar were cancelled on Monday morning but services scheduled for later in the day were expected to go ahead.

Virgin has also resumed service to Bali.

While Mount Sangeang Api was continuing to erupt on Monday, ash clouds which closed Darwin airport on Saturday and caused disruptions to flights between Australia and Bali at the weekend, have dissipated to levels considered safe for planes to fly through.

“The volcano itself is actually still erupting but only at a lower level,” said a spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology’s Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin.

“The winds are actually taking the ash over to the south and west of the volcano, and not near Australia anymore.”

The volcano, which has been erupting since Friday, sent ash 20km into the sky and over northern Australia.

Darwin was cut off to all air services on Saturday as ash clouds swept southeast over the west side of the Northern Territory and as far south as Alice Springs.

Indonesian authorities say the still-active volcano has the potential to again disrupt flights.

Kristianto, of the Eastern Indonesia division of the country’s geological body, says Sangean Api was spewing white ash on Monday to heights of one kilometre.

Tremors had been decreasing since Sunday, but it was still under close observation.

“The danger is still there because we are still recording shallow volcanic earthquakes and surface event earthquakes of a significant nature,” he told AAP.

“That’s why we can’t say how long it could last.”