Jakarta: An Indonesian volcano has forced President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to the country, and some international airlines are canceling flights over concerns about air safety.
Mount Merapi, hundreds of miles (kilometers) east of Jakarta, has been spewing massive clouds of ash and gas high into the air for more than two weeks, killing at least 153 people and causing travel chaos and at times forcing two nearby airports to shut down.
Obama sliced several hours off his whirlwind 24-hour tour Wednesday.
Syaiful Bahri, who oversees operations at Jakarta`s international airport, says that concerns about the ash also forced several international carriers to again cancel flights into and out of the capital. Among them were Cathay Pacific, Value Air, Qantas and Malaysia Air.