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Ash cloud grounds Oz flights

world Updated: Jun 22, 2011 01:45 IST

Flight operations in Australia were severely disrupted on Tuesday in the backdrop of volcanic ash cloud rising from a Chilean volcano, causing inconvenience to over one lakh passengers who are facing delays in their travel.

The country’s flagship carrier Qantas cancelled its services to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne for Wednesday, and continued to monitor the flight path between Perth and Melbourne, reports said.

It also cancelled flights to Adelaide on Monday night.

Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre head Andrew Tupper said the ash had wrapped around a low-pressure system building over south-eastern Australia and had crossed South Australian coast.

It is expected to remain over Sydney on Tuesday night but move southward by Wednesday and expectations are that it will clear Australia by Wednesday night.

Australia’s two major airports were facing the prospect of being shut down for up to 48 hours as the ash cloud from a Chilean volcano continues to drift across southern Australia.