With a plume of ash and smoke six kilometres high, a volcano in Iceland has been violently erupting for more than 40 hours. The effects are being felt all over Europe, with debris carried across the continent.
As the cloud moved eastwards, mild winds kept it very dense, which poses a threat to planes. Several countries completely closed their airspace including the UK, Denmark and Sweden.
The effect on air traffic is unpredictable, according to Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Iceland:
“There are no easy options here. This eruption may stop tomorrow, but it may continue to disrupt air traffic for weeks or months.”
It is dangerous for aircraft to come in contact with the volcanic ash because particles of rock, glass or sand could jam the plane’s engines. As the cloud progresses, it has caused even more disruption for other countries including France and Germany.
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