Bali volcano emits wispy plume of steam, flights resume

Mount Agung volcano spews smoke in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Gushing ash from Bali's Mount Agung volcano has dissipated into a wispy plume of steam. Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said Monday the volcano remains at its highest alert level but most of Bali is safe for tourists. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
In this combination of images, left: ash clouds rise from Mount Agung volcano erupting in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 28, 2017; and right: Mount Agune volcano is seen on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Gushing ash from Bali's Mount Agung volcano has dissipated into a wispy plume of steam on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, and Australian airlines that canceled some flights to the Indonesian resort island on the weekend have returned to near-normal schedules. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
A woman collects flowers during harvesting with a backdrop of the Mount Agung volcano covered by clouds in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Gushing ash from Bali's Mount Agung volcano has dissipated into a wispy plume of steam. Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said Monday the volcano remains at its highest alert level but most of Bali is safe for tourists. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Mount Agung volcano spews smoke in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. Gushing ash from Bali's Mount Agung volcano has dissipated into a wispy plume of steam. Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said Monday the volcano remains at its highest alert level but most of Bali is safe for tourists. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

KARANGASEM, Indonesia — Gushing ash from Bali's Mount Agung volcano has dissipated into a wispy plume of steam, and Australian airlines that canceled some flights to the Indonesian resort island on the weekend have returned to near-normal schedules.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said Monday the volcano remains at its highest alert level but most of Bali is safe for tourists.

The exclusion zone around the volcano still extends 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the crater in some directions. More than 55,000 people are living in shelters.

Airlines Jetstar and Virgin Australia, which canceled flights over the weekend even as the ash cloud shrank dramatically, said they were resuming services Monday.

The region's volcanic ash monitoring center in Darwin, Australia, has stopped issuing advisories for Agung, reflecting that it's currently posing no threat to aircraft. It would resume advisories if there's another eruption.

Tens of thousands of tourists were stranded when ash closed Bali's international airport for nearly three days last week.

Indonesian government volcanologists say Agung's crater is about one-third filled by lava and there is still a high risk of more eruptions.

The volcano's last major eruptions in 1963 killed more than 1,100 people and it was active for more than a year.

David Boutelier, a geologist at the University of Newcastle in Australia, said the chance of a violent explosion is still "very high" but possibly not as high as several weeks ago because pressure is being released.

Must Read

Top Indonesia judge gets 8 years in prison for...

Sep 4, 2017

Indonesia's corruption court has sentenced one of the country's top judges to eight years in prison...

Bali flights resume, but volcanic ash still...

Nov 30, 2017

Flights trickled out of Bali a day after its airport reopened but the erupting volcano there shut...

Indonesia hard-line Muslims protest ban on...

Jan 12, 2018

Muslim hard-liners have protested in Indonesia's capital against Facebook's blocking of accounts...

Mezzanine collapse inside Jakarta tower hurts...

Jan 15, 2018

A mezzanine floor inside the Jakarta Stock Exchange tower collapsed on Monday, injuring nearly 80...

Study: Extremists still flourishing in...

Feb 9, 2018

A new study has found Indonesia's overcrowded prisons are ill-equipped to deal with Islamic...

People also read these

Indonesia president urges military to stay out of...

Oct 5, 2017

Indonesia's president has urged the military to stay out of politics and remain loyal to the...

Qatar's leader urges end to trade embargo, calls...

Oct 18, 2017

Qatar's emir has urged neighboring states to lift an "unfair" 4-month-old trade embargo and said...

Indonesia says Papua villages in standoff with...

Nov 17, 2017

Indonesian police help evacuate more than 340 people from villages in easternmost Papua after...

The Latest: Flights trickle from Bali after...

Nov 30, 2017

Bali's airport is operating at far from its usual capacity after reopening while ash from the Mount...

Study: Extremists still flourishing in...

Feb 9, 2018

A new study has found Indonesia's overcrowded prisons are ill-equipped to deal with Islamic...