Air travel back to normal in Indonesia, but Mount Merapi still spews ash

International airlines resumed flights as of today as skies have been clear over the Indonesian capital, which is hundreds of miles to the west of Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s deadly volcano which is still erupting.

Mount Merapi’s latest death toll climbed to 194 as authorities include those who died from respiratory problems, heart attacks and other illnesses and indirectly linked causes.

Two weeks ago, Mount Merapi, located at the heart of Java island, became active again and started erupting again, throwing lava, ash, smoke and debris on distances up to 4 miles (6 kilometers). Over 350,000 people have been evacuated to emergency shelters and flights to Indonesia have been canceled as all airports were hard to reach due to the large amount of smoke covering the airspace.

The volcanic ash has been falling very close to the capital on Thursday, according to Gordon Jackson, a meteorologist with the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Darwin, Australia.

Right now, all flights are operating normally, said Frans Yosef, the manager at Jakarta’s main international airport.

The U.S. State Department urged travelers to stay away from Java and Mount Merapi, which has erupted many times in the last century, it’s victim count being of over 1400.

Indonesia, an archipelago inhabited by 235 million people , is prone to earthquakes and volcano eruptions due to its position along the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped string of faults that lines the Pacific Ocean.

Photo source: Discovery News