Bali volcano emits wispy plume of steam, flights resume

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)
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)
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.

People also read these

Volcano gushing ash over Bali closes airport for...

Nov 28, 2017

A volcano gushing towering columns of ash closed the airport on the Indonesian tourist island of...

Pulp giant stirs new conflicts with Indonesian...

Dec 21, 2017

Less than five years after it pledged to end dozens of disputes over land and gain local consent...

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...