2011-06-21 11:28:41

Volcanic ash grounds Australia flights

An ash cloud from a volcano in Chile has wreaked havoc on Australian flights and prompted the country's leading airline Qantas to cancel flights to and from the nation's biggest airports Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ash from a volcano in Chile that erupted on June 4 after decades lying dormant has forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights because of the potential for ash to damage jet engines.

The cloud first affected flights in Australia and New Zealand 10 days ago, with flights between the two countries grounded and Qantas cancelling flights out of Melbourne, Adelaide and from the island state of Tasmania.

Now flights have also been cancelled in and out of Sydney and Canberra. Some international flights due to land in Sydney have been diverted to Brisbane. The cancellations are affecting more than 200 flights and 20,000 passengers each day.

The volcano’s impact has also been felt in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, where not only have flights been affected but a thick blanket of ash covers entire villages.

Listen to a report by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels: RealAudioMP3

All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.