Airlines Cancel Some Jakarta Flights to Avoid Volcanic Ash
Airlines Cancel Some Jakarta Flights to Avoid Volcanic Ash

International airlines canceled some flights into and out of Jakarta on Saturday because of ash spewing from the Mount Merapi volcano.

Airport authorities said up to 10 percent of the 1,200 flights at the Indonesian capital's airport were canceled. But they suggested the 11 carriers' cancellations were premature because ash from the erupting volcano more than 400 kilometers to the east had not reached Jakarta.

The volcano continued to rumble and groan on Saturday, at times spitting ash up to eight kilometers into the sky.  Merapi staged its most thunderous eruptions on Friday - blasts that volcano experts said were Merapi's biggest since the 1870s.

The death toll from 12 days of eruptions has now reached at least 128.  Rescue workers have been hard-pressed to cope with those injured, and with more than 200,000 people who fled to emergency shelters.

en airlines canceled flights, including Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, China AIrlines, Korean Air, Tiger Air and the local airline Mandala.  Much closer to the volcano, the Yogyakarta international airport is closed.

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Indonesia, where he lived part of his childhood, on Tuesday as part of his 10-day Asian trip.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.