Icelandic Eruption Delays 1000s of Flights

Published: April 15th 2010
in News » World

Pic: youtube

A giant ash cloud has halted air traffic indefinitely, on a scale unheard of since the 2001 terror attacks on the U.S. All flights over Britain, Ireland and the Nordic countries are affected by the eruption of the volcano in Iceland earlier this week.


The airborne smoke and ash are drastically impairing visibility. Paris’ main airport, as well as two dozen others, has closed due to the ash-laden cloud. According to reports, the cloud is drifting south and east over Britain, causing all five of Britain’s main airports to ban all non-emergency flights until at least 7am on Friday, as well.


As such, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority has banned all incoming flights from Israel to Britain. Israeli President Shimon Peres, who had been on an official visit to Paris, is among the thousands stranded due to the closures.


According to a scientist based in Iceland, the spewing of volcanic ash and the ensuing flight delays could very well continue for days or even weeks.


Heathrow, a major trans-Atlantic hub and London’s largest airport, typically handles more than 1,200 flights per day, in addition to approximately 180,000 passengers.


According to the New York Times, the eruption may not have been especially powerful, but its effects may prove to linger. Bill Burton, associate director of U.S. Geological Survey’s volcano hazards program, has said that the Icelandic eruption occurred beneath Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier, in a manner similar to its last eruption in 1821.


The 1821 eruption had apparently continued on and off for the next two years, according to Burton, prompting fears that this one could do the same.


Due to its location in the higher latitudes, however, Burton says the global impact of the volcano will likely be reduced.

Related articles: (Iceland, volcano, eruption, ash cloud, shimon peres)

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