Volcanic ash, smoke affect all flights to Tonga

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Nukualofa, Jan 13 (IANS) Rising ash and smoke from a volcanic eruption in Tonga have forced cancellation of all international flights to the Pacific island country, media reported Tuesday.

Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue have all cancelled their flights to Tonga as the volcanic ash and smoke rising from an undersea vent spread over hundreds of kilometres in the atmosphere above the Tongatapu region of Tonga, Xinhua reported.
The resumption of international flights is expected to depend on the situation of the volcanic activity, officials said.
Tonga’s domestic airline Real Tonga confirmed Tuesday that none of its flights has been cancelled.
Tonga’s ministry of lands, survey and natural resources has issued an advisory of volcanic ash emissions.
The previous volcanic activity at the undersea vent was recorded in 1912, 1937, 1959, 1988 and December 2014, according to Matangi Tonga Online.

Last modified: January 13, 2015