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Volcanic ash, smoke stop international flights to Tonga

(Xinhua)    16:25, January 13, 2015

SUVA, Jan. 13-- Rising ash and smoke from a volcanic eruption in Tonga have stopped all international flights to the Pacific island country, local media reported Tuesday.

Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue have all canceled their flights to Tonga, as the volcanic ash and smoke which were continuing from an undersea vent spread over hundreds of kilometers in the atmosphere above the Tongatapu region of Tonga, local news website Matangi Tonga Online reported.

The resumption of international flights is expected to depend on the situation of the volcanic activity.

Meanwhile, Tonga's domestic airline Real Tonga confirmed Tuesday that none of its flights have been canceled.

Tonga's Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources has issued an advisory of volcanic ash emissions.

Previous volcanic activity at the undersea vent was recorded in 1912, 1937, 1959, 1988 and in December 2014, according to Matangi Tonga Online.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Huang Jin)

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