Bali volcano emits wispy plume of steam, flights resume

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)
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.

You may also interested in

Tens of thousands stranded as Bali volcano closes...

Nov 27, 2017

Indonesian authorities ordered a mass evacuation of people from an expanded danger zone around an...

Bali volcano ash drifts 4.7 miles high, airport...

Nov 29, 2017

An erupting volcano with a deadly history on Indonesia's Bali island has spread drifting ash 7,600...

Borneo's orangutan population plunged by 100,000...

Feb 15, 2018

The most comprehensive study of Borneo's orangutans estimates their numbers have plummeted by more...

Greenpeace leaves sustainable wood certification...

Mar 27, 2018

Greenpeace withdraws from Forest Stewardship Council, says it is failing to protect natural forests...

Oil spill fire chokes Indonesian port city; 4 dead

Apr 4, 2018

An official says waters off an Indonesian port city reek like a gas station after an oil spill and...