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Ash cloud drifts towards Bali, halts more flights

ABC News logo ABC News 1/06/2014 ABC News
A plume of ash rises from the Sangeang Api volcano, off the north-east coast of Sumbawa. © Jean Dupuy/ABC News A plume of ash rises from the Sangeang Api volcano, off the north-east coast of Sumbawa.

People planning to travel to and from Indonesia are being urged to keep in touch with their airlines as an ash cloud from an erupting volcano drifts towards Denpasar.

The Sangeang Api volcano erupted on Friday, creating ash clouds that brought air services in the region to a standstill.

Flights in and out of Darwin resumed yesterday afternoon, but Jetstar has announced it has now been forced to cancel flights in and out of Bali.

The ash cloud, which continues to cause problems as it dissipates, is drifting west towards Denpasar.

Bri MacPherson from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) says the cloud is being closely monitored.

"At this stage the volcano has been erupting to low levels - to about four kilometres above the surface - and that ash has been moving to the west and to the south west," she said.

"The winds are relatively light, so it's just slowly moving in those directions."

A total of 31 flights were cancelled over the weekend across Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar services.

VAAC says it will continue to monitor satellite imagery throughout the day.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said over the weekend that the ash cloud had the potential to affect flights at airports as far away as Brisbane.

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