Sunday, May 22, 2011

Iceland volcano erupts - Bigger & more intensive than last April eruption & shutdown of Europe

Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled domestic flights today (Sunday) as a powerful volcanic eruption sent a plume of ash, smoke and steam 12 miles into the air.

This eruption was far larger than one last April 2010 that caused international travel chaos. Scientists however say that this one is unlikely to have the same widespread effect. The eruption of this "Grimsvotn volcano" is much bigger and more intensive than the "Eyjafjallajokull volcano" whose April 2010 eruption shut Europe's airspace for five days.

The winds are not as strong as they were in Eyjafjallajokull eruption last year and the ash is coarser than in last year's eruption, falling to the ground more quickly. The ash plume was covering Iceland, but "the good news is that it is not heading to Europe." The ash was blowing northwest toward Greenland instead.

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