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Iceland Volcano Hits Flights To EU

  • April 16th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

iceland-volcano2.jpgVolcanic ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland has disrupted movements throughout European air space and has cut off many flights between Europe and Australia.

Qantas asked intending travelers to check “Major Disruptions” on its website, after the first six British Airways and Qantas flights in or out of the United Kingdom were cancelled.

Several more have since been dropped, including nearly all going through Asian centres, with hundreds of Australian travellers stranded at Singapore, and facing a shortage of hotel beds for the rush.
iceland-volcano.jpgThe eruption since Thursday (15.4.10) has caused planned evacuations in Iceland, and has sent a plume of powdery volcanic ash into the air, drifting across Northern Europe.

Aircraft have been grounded, except for emergency flights, in Belgium, Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands, and in Denmark, Finland and Sweden; with tens of thousands stranded at airports or at home, waiting for flights to resume.

Impacts further afield have included the cancellation of some flights through Vancouver.

Weather offices are saying that with the volcano continuing to discharge its plume of ash, there is no relief immediately in sight.

Jet engines can break down if they fly into a thick volcanic cloud, as the ash congeals, raising the threat of a catastrophic crash.

The classic memento of such a mishap is the 1982 incident in which a British Airways plane out of Kuala Lumpur, going to Perth, lost its four engines over a volcano, at the time spreading a blanket of ash over much of Java. The aircraft descended to low altitude before one engine could be re-started, to take it in to Jakarta.
This year, aesthetes on the ground may find some compensation in the spectacular skyscapes now beginning to come on show, with masses of particles in the air dispersing the light – watch for celestial sunsets and a purple moon.


Pictures

Volcanoes in Iceland, (geo,mtu.eu; uhh)

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