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Ash cloud leads Egypt to cancel flights to Africa.

CAIRO: As Ertirea's volcano eruption eased, its ash cloud spread to Egypt reaching the southern Aswan city of Abu Simbel, and prompting the cancellation of flights to Africa.

An official source from the Cairo International Airport said the cloud would reach all of Luxor, Aswan, and Hurghada on Tuesday night adding that all flights to African countries have been cancelled.

A France-based Control Center responsible for monitoring volcanic ash in various parts of the world had predicted earlier that the cloud would reach the Middle East, affecting parts of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Yemen and Iraq.

Eritrea's Dubbi volcano erupted and sent a plume of ash up to 15 kilometers into the air on Monday, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center said, disrupting air traffic in the region, according to AFP.

The eruption, which took place at 2100 GMT on Sunday, is "significant" according to Jean Nicolau of French weather service Meteo-France, which houses VAAC's operations for southern Europe and Africa.

"Based on satellite images we are seeing, the volcanic ash is reaching altitudes of 13 to 15 kilometers" (42,650 to 49,200 feet), he said. "We are not in a critical situation like with the Icelandic volcano Grimsvotn, which concerned a very busy air traffic zone, because the traffic is much less important" in east Africa.

The ash cloud nonetheless forced US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to cut short her Africa trip on Monday because of the risk of the ash cloud moving toward her location in Addis Ababa, a senior US official said.

The eruption was the volcano's first since 1861.-Additional reporting by AFP

Daily NewsEgypt 2011

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Jun 14, 2011
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