Stranded tourists depart Bali as volcanic ash cloud shifts

Airlines laid on extra flights to Bali on Thursday to allow some of the thousands of passengers stranded by the eruption of Mount Agung to fly out, as a switch in wind direction sent volcanic ash away from the holiday island's airport.
Agung was partially shrouded by cloud on Thursday with parts of Bali lashed by monsoon rain, but according to officials there were persistent tremors from the crater.
"Mount Agung continues to erupt, ejecting volcanic ash up to 6,500 ft (2,000 meters) in height," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency, said via Twitter. Earlier in the week, Agung had ejected showers of rocks up to two miles (four km), he said. The reopening on Wednesday afternoon of Bali's airport, which is about 37 miles (60 km) away from Mount Agung, followed a downgrade in an aviation warning to one level below the most serious, with the arrival of more favorable winds.
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