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31/05/2014 09:43 BST | Updated 31/05/2014 10:59 BST

Indonesia Volcano: These 'Humbling' Pictures Show The 'Mountain of Spirits' Erupting

This is the incredible and "humbling" moment a massive plume of ash spewed an estimated 12 miles into the sky as a volcano erupted in Indonesia.

The powerful explosion took place at Mount Sangeang Api in the Lesser Sunda Islands - an area that plays host to 129 active volcanoes.

The incredible photographs below were taken by professional photographer Sofyan Efendi during a commercial flight from Bali to the fishing town of Labuan Bajo in West Nusa Tenggara province.

Photo galleryIndonesia volcano spews 12 mile high ash cloud See Gallery

"The volcano is undergoing a sustained, rather significant eruption at the moment," Emile Jansons, manager of the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre told Reuters news agency.

"For the last 10 hours we've been observing large masses of volcanic ash being generated.

"Nobody has a very good handle on what this volcano is likely to do in the next 24 hours or beyond."

The huge ash clouds have forced airlines to cancel all flights to and from the northern Australian city of Darwin.

The authorities say other airports could be affected in the coming days.