May

25

2011

Iceland’s Volcanic Nightmare: new eruption causes flight cancellations

Abgelegt in Mother Earth

Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano erupted Sunday, sending an ash cloud high into the atmosphere and blanketing surrounding airspace.

Flight Cancellations
Experts believe that any form of “widespread aviation shutdown is unlikely…” says the Associated Press. This is due mainly to the fact that ash created from the volcanic eruption is falling to the Earth more quickly than its Eyjafjallajokull counter part, whose eruption created an ash cloud so large that it cost the aviation industry $1.7 billion and left nearly 10 million people stranded last year.

The Iceland volcano has caused a 120-nautical mile no-fly zone to be put into effect. This has caused disruption of both domestic and international flights in the area. The British Civil Aviation Authority has detected ash from the Iceland volcano within Scottish airspace as well.

The Associated Press interviewed Brian Flynn, who is in charge of network operations at Eurocontrol. Flynn believes that there has already been between 200 to 250 flight cancellations since the volcanic eruption started, and warns that an additional 250 flight cancellations could be expected. Travelers heading to or already within the region should prepare accordingly.

Positive Forecast
A mix of coarser ash and weak winds will help to minimize impact of the volcanic eruption’s ash. Mathew Roberts of the Icelandic Meteorological Office told BBC, “the intensity of the eruption has decreased markedly overnight.” Roberts says the ash plume created from the eruption has fell to 6 miles high. Roberts believes that the disruption should conclude within the next two or three days.

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