Flights Resume to Australian City of Darwin as Indonesian Volcano Calms

June 2, 2014

Flights resumed to and from Australia’s northernmost city of Darwin on Sunday after they were suspended for more than a day due to clouds of ash from an Indonesian volcano.

Friday’s eruption of Sangeang Api volcano off the Indonesian island of Sumbawa sent two ash plumes over northern Australia on Saturday. More than 30 flights were canceled and international flights through that air space were rerouted.

International and domestic flights were resuming services through Darwin, a city with a population exceeding 100,000, on Sunday afternoon as ash disbursed over northern Australia, Darwin International Airport spokeswoman Virginia Sanders said.

The major plume affecting Australian aviation swept southeast over the west side of the Northern Territory and as far south as the central Australian city of Alice Springs.

Grace Legge, aviation forecaster from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, said she expected the ash would entirely clear from the Darwin region by early afternoon Sunday.

“The volcano is still erupting, but the ash is not heading toward the Darwin region anymore,” she said.

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority warned volcanic ash can affect all aircraft with piston or jet engines at all flight levels.

Fine particles of pulverized rock consisting mainly of silica contained in volcanic ash clouds can be highly abrasive and damage aircraft engines, structures and windows.

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