Iceland volcano causes travel chaos to Europe
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 April, 2010 : - - Reykyavik - A volcanic eruption in Iceland spread ash across northern Europe on Thursday bringing chaos to air travel and melted a glacier causing severe floods. About 800 people have been forced to evacuate their homes around the Eyjafjallajokull volcano because the flooding cut roads and risked bringing down a bridge.
A huge cloud of ash from the second major eruption in Iceland in less than a month blew eastwards, closing major airports more than 1,000 miles (1,700 kilometers) away in London, where all flights were halted. Nearly every airport in Norway, Denmark and across northern Sweden was also closed, authorities announced. There was also disruption in Finland.
More than 250 flights out of London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports were cancelled, including transatlantic services. Hundreds of other mainly domestic flights were also hit at airports across Britain. The National Air Traffic Service introduced restrictions to UK airspace this morning as a result of volcanic ash drifting across the United Kingdom from Iceland.
The ash was about five-six miles (eight-10 kilometers) in the air and could not been seen from the ground. Experts said it was a danger to jet engines and restricted visibility. Icelandic airports remained open as wind was blowing ash away from the island to the east.
The volcano on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in southern Iceland erupted just after midnight on Wednesday. Smoke coming out of the top crater stacked more than 20,000 feet (6,000 metres) into the sky. Icelandic public broadcaster RUV reported that a 500-metre fissure had appeared at the top of the crater on Wednesday.
Lava melted the glacier, causing major flooding which forced the evacuation of between 700 and 800 people. The eruption in a remote area about 125 kilometres (75 miles) east of Reykjavik was bigger than the blast at the nearby Fimmvorduhals volcano last month. That eruption at the Fimmvorduhals volcano, which gushed lava for weeks, ended Tuesday, experts said.
Check this animation showing the movement of the ash plume towards Europe
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