Volcanic Ash – The Return
Iceland … a country predominantly made up of volcano’s, with a fascinating landscape which has been moulded over the century’s from eruption after eruption. A beautiful country which I can vouch for myself after a trip to the Icelandic capital back in 2009 but this quiet and picturesque country is once again hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Another year and yet another ash cloud threatens to bring widespread disruption to our skies and bring more doom and gloom to holidaymakers.
Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier was the culprit almost a year ago exactly. In fact it was late March 2010 when the volcano started to erupt and in only a few days flights all over Europe had been cancelled eventually bringing the UK to a complete flight standstill.
2011 brings a different volcano to the headlines but all the same problems. The Grimsvotn Volcano started to erupt a few days ago and is apparently Icelands most active Volcano (last erupted in 2004). The ash has already reached Norway, Denmark and Scotland and later today is expected to reach the UK.
According to reports this eruption is larger than last years however the fragments within the ash are alot larger & denser which should bring them down to Earth sooner causing less disruption. The wind is also more favourable this time – but I guess we will have to wait and see.
Barack Obama has had to change the schedule for his trip to Europe cutting short his visit to Ireland amid fears he may get stranded there if he stays the full length (I can’t imagine that would be a bad thing stranded in Ireland with friendly people and all the Guiness you could drink).
The President of the United States may be able to alter his plans but what about the poor holiday makers that may become stranded in airports across the UK. Last year over 100,000 flights and over 10 million people were affected with airports becoming giant B&B’s. Over a billion pounds was estimated to have been lost to the air industry during this period bringing even more problems to overcome along with snow, government taxes and ever rising fuel prices.
However according to reports the disruption should not be as disastrous as last year because apparently lessons have been learnt and communication between authorities, airlines and passengers will be better. Maybe more importantly the rules for flying through ash have been relaxed slightly with complaints last year of them being way too strict.
I sincerely hope that this time the disruption is minimal and that holidaymakers do get to their destinations on time because lets face it, in this current economic climate we all need a holiday and if you’ve been saving up all year to take your family away for a well earned break in the sun the last thing you need is a cloud of black ash blocking you.
Latino777 – It’s out time down here