Massive volcanic eruption in Indonesia; regional flights grounded

Massive volcanic eruption in Indonesia; regional flights grounded

[Ed. – Will the winds carry the ash cloud our way?]

A huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia has covered the region in a vast cloud of ash, grounding flights in Australia and south east Asia.

Sangeang Api, a volcano off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, which lies in one of the most active areas of the Pacific ‘ring of fire’, has erupted at least three times since Friday.

Dramatic images show smoke, ash and debris shooting into the sky, while a flying saucer shaped current of gas wraps around the plumes.

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All flights have been cancelled from Darwin airport, Australia’s Northern Territory capital, and disruption is expected for days as the cloud could reach as far south as Brisbane.

The ash cloud from the first eruption is around 20,000 and 50,000 feet high and around 15 km wide, according to reports. It is moving south-easterly over Australia. A second, now over Darwin is sitting at around 45,000 feet, while a third is over Bali. …

“It is spreading east and it may dissipate, so it is not clear how far east it will get,” Emile Jansons, Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre manager at the Bureau of Meteorology in Darwin, told the Australian Associated Press. “It is not yet clear if it will affect the eastern seaboard.”

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