April 17, 2010
REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Since the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted three days ago, an ominous cloud has formed above the glacier, a blanket of ash has settled over southeastern Iceland, glacial runoff is flooding the area, and delivery trucks have been stalled with 10,567 gallons of milk — at least that’s what we’re seeing on the news from Reykjavik.
Given the international coverage of the eruption and the widespread effect it is having on travel in Europe and other parts of the world, people are wondering what’s happening here at the epicenter of it all. I’ve been getting messages from friends in the United States wondering if I’m OK, if everything is covered in ash, if the air quality is safe, and if I’m in danger of the floods.
But the truth is, from Reykjavík, we not only can’t see the volcano, which is located about 85 miles east of us, but we have also been spared the ash, which is traveling southeast to northern Europe. Strangely, this eruption has had more impact on people throughout the world than on people in Iceland. Ash is falling as far as Milan and Icelanders only a few miles away are completely unaffected.
In the south, a few small towns have been evacuated from the path of potential flooding, but the number of people affected pales in comparison to the number of people stranded all over Europe. The road between the towns of Hvolsvöllur and Skógar has been closed to the public, but it is still possible to drive necessary supplies across an old bridge. Farmers in the area are concerned that if the eruption keeps up, the ash could contaminate their animals' water supply, and thus the volcano poses a real threat to their livelihood.
Meanwhile, in Reykjavík, while people are glued to the news and there is a general awe over eruption’s worldwide impact, most people don’t seem overly worried about the impact the eruption could have here. Not yet, that is.
But, as a friend of mine pointed out, that’s likely to change as soon as the ash starts blowing our way. There is an ever-popular saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” If wind patterns change, the ash could very well start raining on us here in the greater Reykjavík area, which is home to about two-thirds of Iceland’s 320,000 residents.
Of course, there is definitely a lot of uncertainty as to what’s going to happen next. Some are wondering whether the nearby and much larger volcano, Katla, will follow suit. Historically it has often followed Eyjafjallajokull eruptions within days or months.
That’s not to say that people are actively living in fear. In fact, after the first eruption at Fimmvörðuháls, the Fox news coverage became a viral hit for what Icelanders deemed an overdramatized absurdity with the reporter predicting some kind of doomsday.
The current eruption is admittedly far more serious than the first one, and I think most people would like this one to stop before it causes any more damage. Some point out that the number of travelers being affected is greater than the number of farmers being affected, but it is a matter of inconvenience versus livelihood.
At the same, a nonchalant attitude prevails in the city. I’ve heard people scoff at the “Support Iceland” Twitter twibbon campaign and jokes making light of the situation are flying every which way, especially given Iceland’s IceSave debt dispute with the Brits and the Dutch — though I think I’ve heard the cash-ash mix-up joke ("You've heard about Gordon Brown? When he heard about Iceland he wanted cash, but there's no 'c' in the Icelandic language, so we gave him ash.") a few too many times. People have also been sending around this great photo of the eruption, which looks like a vicious man-eating monster emerging from the glacier.
For some, the eruption seems to be a welcome diversion from the otherwise constant stream of news reporting on Iceland’s financial crisis. In fact, the volcano erupted the day after a 6,000-page investigative report into the October 2008 banking collapse was released. At least, Iceland’s crooks are likely happy to be out of the limelight.
So, until south Iceland has been wiped out by floods, until we are forced to wear gas masks whenever we leave the house and until we have to dig our cars out of the ash, maybe Iceland’s concerned twitter friends should switch their “Support Iceland” twibbons to something like, “Support Stranded Travelers” because of all the people impacted by this eruption, I mostly feel sorry for them.
The volcano is worsening.
Flights will not be common for days - perhaps weeks.
The Polish President is being buried today, Sunday, April 18, 2010.
He died in a plane crash a week ago with about 100 others.
Many world leaders are unable to attend due to ash from this volcano.
Among those unable to attend
Barak Obama, U.S.A.
Angela Merkel, Germany
Sarkozky of France
Charles, Prince of Wales - (He married The Duchess of Cornwall )
KATLA - a much larger volcano - nearby may blow. Far worse problem! I advise Europe to change their heart toward Israel!
Last edited by CJ on Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:02 am; edited 2 times in total
Note how the plume avoids nearly all of the nations occupied by Hitler or Stalin and how the ash reaching Moscow first (the green line)
sits between 20,000 and 35,000 feet — very likely the height at which the Polish jet was cruising before it crashed.
Iceland is an island that emerged from the sea. In scripture, the sea is symbolic of worldly chaos.
The volcanoes there (like those in Hawaii) seldom throw off ash tending, much more often, to spew less-viscous flowing lava.
Ash in scripture is a symbol (according to Conner) of “complete destruction, desolation, mourning and sorrow”.
IS THERE ANY ASSOCIATION BETWEEN "KATYN" AND "KATLA" VOLCANO?
In the meantime, there are reminders of who owns the land and everything on it.
For example, it seems unlikely that a giant ash plume from the Icelandic volcano would curl down over
Moscow like a finger just days after that country’s leadership was implicated in the murder of half the Polish government.
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:37 am Post subject: Europe Cuts 77% of Flights; Relief May Come April 22
Europe Cuts 77% of Flights; Relief May Come April 22
April 17 (Bloomberg) - European airlines canceled 77% of their flights today as most of the continent’s northern and central nations remained closed to air traffic because of volcanic ash.
No flights will operate out of the U.K. until at least 1 p.m. London time tomorrow, the National Air Traffic Service said today via e-mail. German airports will remain closed until 2 p.m. Berlin time, the DFS air traffic control agency said. The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, or Eurocontrol, expects about 5,000 flights across Europe today, compared with 22,000 on a “normal” Saturday, it said today in a statement.
“Expect ongoing interruptions for the next four or five days,” Teitur Atlason, at the Icelandic meteorological office, said in a telephone interview today. “The eruption is still in full swing, and the volcano is spewing pretty dark ashes as high into the air as 5 to 6 kilometers.”
Flights were grounded after April 14 when an eruption at the Eyjafjallajökull volcano spewed dust across thousands of miles of European airspace, closing terminals from Dublin to Moscow. The direction of winds high in the atmosphere mean the disruption may go on for the next few days.
“The jet stream winds, which extend from 10,000 feet up to 40,000 feet, show no signs of change through Wednesday,” Accuweather said in a statement. “Any ash plume that is released from the Eyjafjall volcano in Iceland will continue to threaten northern Europe and the British isles.”
Canceled flights are costing carriers about $200 million a day, the International Air Transport Association estimates. Anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before traveling to the airport, NATS said.
Flights have been halted because of concerns that the ash plume could damage engines and speed sensors. The finest material from the blast is formed of dust akin to glass, which can melt and congeal in a turbine, causing it to stop, said Sue Loughlin, head of vulcanology at the British Geological Survey.
“The (air) current in the height the ashes are reaching remains a strong northwesterly wind, which blows the ashes to Scotland and South Scandinavia,” Atlason of the Icelandic Met Office said. “Once the ashes reach those places other more complex wind systems take over, which spread the ashes across North and Central Europe. This will continue until Wednesday.”
Volcanic eruptions may continue for months, curtailing European air traffic when the ash reaches the region, said Sigrun Hreinsdottir, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. “From what we’ve seen, it could erupt, pause for a few weeks, and then possibly erupt again.”
The last eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in December 1821 continued until January 1823. The current blast has sent ash to as high as 7 kilometers (4.5 miles), according to Gudrun Larsen, a vulcanologist at the University of Iceland. The magma had to pierce 200 meters of ice before erupting, she said.
“We really don’t know if this eruption is going to last as long as the previous one, but we can’t say it’s not a possibility.''
Deutsche Lufthansa AG canceled all flights to and from German airports today. All long-distance flights to Germany with a scheduled arrival until 2 p.m. tomorrow also were canceled, the company said in a statement on its Web site today.
“This is the first time all our planes are grounded,” Lufthansa spokesman Wolfgang Weber said via telephone.
British Airways Plc, which halted flights from the U.K. beginning at midday on April 15, said no services to and from London will operate today or tomorrow. Its shares tumbled 3.1 percent in the U.K. capital yesterday, the most since Feb 12.
Denmark extended the shutdown of its airspace for all flights until 8 a.m. local time tomorrow, according to the Web site of Copenhagen-based Naviair, Denmark’s flight controller.
Switzerland and Belgium today extended closure of their respective airspaces to 8 p.m. local time, Agence France-Presse reported. Paris airports will remain shut until 8 a.m. on April 19, a government official said. Belarus closed airspace for passenger and cargo flights, Interfax reported. The ash may stay over the country for two or three days, it said.
Air France-KLM Group’s Dutch KLM unit canceled today’s flights into and out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the company said in a statement on its Web site. Dutch airspace is closed until at least 8 a.m. tomorrow, the Netherlands’ Inspectorate for Transport, Public Works and Water Management said.
Rome Open - Italy will keep airspace in the north of the country closed until at least 8 a.m. on April 19 and may curtail flights in the south
as a cloud of volcanic ash spreads across Europe from Iceland, ENAC, the nation’s civil aviation authority, said in an e-mailed statement today.
Airports in Rome remain open, though they’re experiencing delays and cancellations.
TUI AG, owner of Europe’s largest travel company, has canceled all flights until at least noon tomorrow German time. TUI will assume the costs for one more night at a hotel for all customers affected by the decision, the Hanover, Germany-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.
Carriers throughout the Asia-Pacific region canceled flights on routes to Europe, with Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. saying it didn’t know when service might resume. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., based in Hong Kong, scrapped departures to London, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan and said it wouldn’t accept new bookings for the next few days.
Europe-bound flights from Japan, South Korea, China and India were stopped because of danger from the ash. Air India and Singapore Airlines Ltd. canceled some routes to North America.
“At this stage it’s highly unlikely things are going to return to normal for several days at least,” David Epstein, a Qantas spokesman in Melbourne, said today at a press briefing. “It may well be a week.”
Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s largest carrier, scrubbed 91 flights today to and from Europe because of the ash cloud, said spokesman Anthony Black. AMR Corp.’s American Airlines canceled 56 flights between the U.S. and Europe today, the company said in a recorded message. American was able to operate flights into and out of Spain and Italy, spokesman Tim Smith said.
Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for Chicago’s Department of Aviation, which operates O’Hare International Airport, Midway International Airport and Gary-Chicago International Airport, said 22 flights bound for Chicago from Europe were canceled.
Telephone calls to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Boston’s Logan International Airport and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the three New York-area airports, weren’t immediately returned.
The outlook this weekend is for westerly winds to pick up over northern Britain, shifting ash away from Scotland, while keeping it over England. The edge of the ash cloud was forecast to reach as far south as northern Italy and Romania and as far east as the borders of Kazakhstan, according to the Met office.
Because of the wind direction, Iceland’s Keflavik airport remains open, with North American flights operating on schedule.
The eruption began on March 20 with a lava flow on the eastern flank of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, according to the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland. After a lull, it erupted again early on April 14, directly under the icecap that covers most of the mountain.
“The problem here is we have magma interacting with glacier ice, and that leads to explosions,” Hreinsdottir said. “That causes the material to go much higher in the air.”
Mike Burton, a researcher at the Italian National Vulcanology Institute who has studied the ash from the latest explosion, said it presents more of a threat to aircraft than would the dust from a typical eruption.
“It’s likely that ash production will continue long after all the ice is melted in the volcano as this kind of magma can produce ash without water,” Burton said by telephone.
“Fine ash is easier to transport long distances and goes higher into the atmosphere.
This is not good news for flights.”
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:53 am Post subject: Volcano Chaos Could Continue for Months
Volcano Chaos Could Continue for Months
April 18, 2010
By Patrick Sawer and Robert Mendick
The Icelandic volcano causing travel chaos across Europe could go on erupting for months, geologists have warned.
More countries were forced to close their air space yesterday as the ash cloud continued to expand across the continent.
More than 17,000 flights to and from European airspace were cancelled, including all flights from Britain's major airports.
The Met office reported that volcanic ash had begun to fall across Britain, coating surfaces with a fine layer of dust and raising fears for people with breathing difficulties.
Meanwhile experts warned of shortages of some foods with produce destined for British shops rotting in airport warehouses in other parts of the world.
Geologists reported that activity at the volcano increased yesterday, spewing a plume of ash 5.3 miles high into the atmosphere.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office said the winds blowing the volcanic ash south east to Europe and up into Scandinavia and Russia will continue in the same direction for at least two days and could go on until Wednesday.
But scientists fear there could be more eruptions from the 5,466-foot volcano, Mount Eyjafjallajökull.
Sigrun Hreinsdottir, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland, said: "From what we've seen, it could erupt, pause for a few weeks, and then possibly erupt again. It could go on for months."
As the no fly zone expanded yesterday, so did the chaos.
FLIGHTS AND TOURISM
The National Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) extended restrictions on flights from British airports to 7pm on Sunday, with the expectation of further extensions.
Tens of thousands of Britons stranded abroad were forced to check back into hotels or seek sea or rail routes home.
Ferry operators have reported record bookings. P&O took 6,000 foot passengers across the Channel on Friday compared to the 100 to 200 it would expect on a normal Friday in April.
Eurostar trains were fully booked until tomorrow, with 50,000 more passengers than normal since the airline disruption began on thursday, including comdeian John Cleese who arrived back in London last night after a mammoth overland journey from Norway.
The operator is charging passengers a minimum £223 for a single ticket from Paris to London over the next two days prompting accusations of profiteering. A return ticket can normally be bought for as little as £69. Eurostar denied it was cashing in.
Some 4,000 British tourists have been stranded in South Africa.
The British Embassy in Athens said there were currently "many thousand" British holidaymakers trying to leave Greece after the holidays, in many cases anxious to get back in time for the start of the school term this week, with some of those desperate to return resorting to renting cars or embarking on long trains journeys.
Several hoteliers on the Greek islands have begun offering free meals to help stranded guests cope with the extra cost of an enforced extension to their stay.
The Met Office reported that ash from Eyjafjallajokull had settled over much of Britain, with a thin coating detected at its monitoring stations in the North, the Midlands and the Thames Valley.
It said: "Evidence of ash dust over the UK is being detected by Met Office observations and there are reports of dust reaching the ground."
The British Lung Foundation advised people with a lung condition to carry their medication as a precaution as they may experience short-term worsening of symptoms. However it stressed that the ash does not pose a significant health risk to the public.
There were reports lst night of cars as far afield as Heathrow and north Wales covered in a fine coating of the dust
The Freight Transport Association said that even if British airspace finally begins to open up in the coming days it would take a fortnight to clear the backlog of flights and food destined for the UK. Reports have already emerged of food beginning to rot at airports, with millions of pounds of vegetables and flowers destined for British supermarkets being destroyed in Kenya.
If disruption continues into this week shoppers will begin to notice a shortage of a number of food products normally airfreighted into the country, particularly from south east Asia and Africa.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA), warned that some imported fresh fruit and vegetables could soon be in short supply.
Jo Tanner, the Freight Transport Association spokeswoman, said last night: "We will start to see food shortages this week and we will not see a return to normality for at least two weeks"
Matthew Albert, head chef at Michelin starred Thai restaurant Nahm, in London, said they had been fortunate in receiving their weekly supply of produce from Thailand last Wednesday, a day earlier than normal because of a local holiday. Any later and it would have been grounded by the eruption. "But if flights don't resume soon this week it will become increasingly difficult to source Thai ingredients in Britain and we will have to make changes to our menus," he added.
The grounding of all flights has already cost the British economy at least £920 million, with losses set to rise at the rate of £230m for every day of further disruption.
The airline industry alone will have lost an estimated £520 million by the end of today, with losses of £130m for every day of disruption. Economists at the Centre for Economic and Business Research estimated that the wider economy is also expected to suffer losses of at least £100m a day from lost revenue and extra costs.
Steve Bond, a senior lecturer in airline operations and business aviation at City University, in London, said some of the smaller airlines could be "tipped over the edge" if the disruption of the past three days continues into the middle of this week.
Logistics company DHL confirmed that it expected significant disruption on several European air traffic routes, due to the temporary closing of air space through northern Europe and parts of western Europ.
The British Chambers of Commerce said the disruption could not have come at a worst time for business.
Its Director General, David Frost, said: "Business is still recovering from recession and for the first time in some years we are just beginning to see improvement in our exports."
Mail from Britain to the far East was delayed, while post and parcels to the US were being taken by road to southern Spain to be flown across the Atlantic.
Schools face major disruption this week with teachers stranded abroad and unlikely to return in time after the Easter holidays.
Mark Southworth, head teacher of Woodcote High School in Croydon, said 12 of his teachers were stranded abroad, amounting to one in seven of his workforce. He has supply teachers on stand by to fill in for regulars who cannot make it back to the UK.
"We have made the decision that we are going to open and are planning for the worst-case scenario," he said.
Martin Ward, the deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said: "No doubt many schools will be short staffed on Monday because of teachers being stranded abroad."
Cambridge University was forced to cancel examinations because dozens of students and examiners were still trapped abroad. Oral examinations at the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages which were due to take place tomorrow and Tuesday have been postponed.
The travel restrictions also hit the sporting calendar.
Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins was forced to miss a cycle race in the Netherlands and football referee Steve Bennett, who was due to officiate the Manchester derby yesterday, was stranded in Romania.
Great Britain's opening match at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Slovenia yesterday was delayed to allow the team to alter its travel plans by swapping a flight for bus and train.
The ash also affected rugby league's Challenge Cup, with Widnes Vikings and Lezignan being postponed after the French club's flight to England was cancelled.
The aftermath of the eruption also had an impact on cultural events. Russell Watson, the tenor, was forced to call off a concert in Ireland after his flight was one of thousands cancelled, while singer Mika postponed a concert in Portugal and members of "cartoon" rock band Gorillaz, due to headline at California's huge Coachella festival, were stuck at Heathrow.
Meanwhile, Liverpool and Fulham faced finding alternative ways of getting their players to the Europa League semi-finals in Madrid and Hamburg on Thursday (April 22).
The first detailed analysis of the molten rock thrown out by last week's eruptions has given clues to why the impact has been so severe – and suggested that it could cause protracted chaos for Britain. While last month's initial explosion involved magma made of basalt, the rock exploding through the ice now is composed largely of andesite, scientists at the University of Iceland have discovered.
Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:12 am Post subject: New volcanic ash cloud threatens flight hopes
New volcanic ash cloud threatens flight hopes
20 April 2010 New volcanic ash cloud heading south and east
Hopes that Heathrow would open thrown into doubt
A plume of ash rises from the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier.
Plans to repatriate an estimated 400,000 Britons stranded by the Icelandic volcano eruption were disrupted by a new ash cloud last night, forcing air traffic controllers to reconsider lifting a UK flight ban.
Hopes that Heathrow airport would open from 7pm were thrown into doubt as a fresh plume of volcanic dust drifted towards Britain. Nats, the national air traffic controller, said Scottish airports should be open by 7am today, with airspace over England becoming available by midday but not as far south as London's airports.
"The volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK," said Nats. The situation for airports in Northern Ireland is "uncertain", it added.
Earlier Nats forecasts had given rise to hopes that UK airspace might be fully open after 6pm. However, aviation industry sources said the new ash cloud appeared to have dashed those expectations.
A meeting of European Union transport ministers produced plans for a reduction in the no-fly restrictions over the continent last night, with airspace divided into three categories comprised of: a no-go area; air corridors "with some contamination" where flying can take place under strict conditions; and open zones with no safety concerns.
"From tomorrow morning on we should see progressively more planes start to fly," said EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas last night.
Eurocontrol, the EU-side air traffic control body, said it expected a return to normal operations by Thursday, but the latest ash cloud could jeopardise that.
The knock-on effects abroad included Kenyan farmers having to dump huge quantities of roses and other flowers that they have been unable to export.
Downing Street said last night it was not easing its efforts to bring people home, as news broke of the latest dust scare.
After a late evening meeting of the government's emergency planning committee, Cobra, a spokesman said: "The committee were clear that in light of the ongoing uncertainty about the situation regarding flights, the government should continue to do whatever it can to help get stranded Britons back to the UK using other means. This includes making additional ground transport available and providing consular assistance to individuals as the prime minister set out this morning."
The latest estimates on the number of people in temporary exile, based on unofficial airline and tour operator data, has doubled to around 400,000, according to government sources.
Lord Adonis, the transport secretary, denied claims that the response by European governments had been "crude and simplistic". BA's chief executive, Willie Walsh, labelled the restrictions as "unnecessary" after taking part in a test flight over the Atlantic. Airlines believe that bureaucratic over-reaction has lost them millions of pounds and Walsh said that carriers have "asked the EU and national governments for financial compensation for the closure of airspace."
Around 130,000 of the Britons stranded abroad are believed to be outside Europe, with a significant number in north America, followed by thousands in destinations such as Egypt and Goa in India.
The government has sent three Royal Navy ships to bring Britons back, while extra capacity is being provided on coaches, ferries and Eurostar and Eurotunnel trains.
Defence officials said that bringing in the navy to help thousands of stranded passengers was easier said than done. By the end of yesterday, there was still no detailed plan involving the three large ships potentially available, they said.
It is unlikely HMS Ark Royal would be used as vehicles would have to be lifted on board by crane, but HMS Ocean, the navy's helicopter carrier, and HMS Albion, an amphibious assault ship, could take on vehicles as well as people.
The handling of the travel chaos was dragged into the election campaign after the shadow defence secretary, Liam Fox, accused ministers of neglect.
Brown confirmed that he had spoken to the Spanish premier, who agreed in principle to allow Spanish airports to be used as "hubs" to transport people back from Asia and America then on to Britain by land.
But by mid-afternoon the Foreign Office issued an urgent message via Twitter and Facebook urging people not to travel from other countries to Spain independently.
Last edited by CJ on Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:12 am; edited 2 times in total
Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:25 pm Post subject: Katla Volcano May Erupt in 7 Days
ICELAND Locals Believe the larger Katla Volcano Near Eyjafjallajokull Will Erupt in 7 Days
April 19, 2010 The eruptions and ash disturbance from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano might be waking up its neighbor, Katla. If this is the case, the results could be globally devastating. Activity at Katla has risen 200% in the last two days.
The earthquake build up since the beginning of the year and subsequent eruptions at Eyjafjallajokull seem to be triggering the larger neighboring volcano, Katla.
For the last two days, Katla has shown a dramatic 200% rise in activity. Geophysicists at Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences call Katla a vicious volcano that will be locally and globally damaging.
Katla’s last eruption started in 1821, along side an eruption at Eyjafjallajokull.
Katla has a pattern of erupting in sequence with Eyjafjallajokull.
However, Katla is different. It is much larger and it will make the present eruptions in Iceland look mild in comparison.
Scientists say that although Eyjafjallajokull eruptions are less frequent, Katla eruptions are significantly worse and larger.
Historically, Katla has been shown to wake up whenever Eyjafjallajokull does, and sometimes on its own.
This is why it is believed that Katla will erupt and it will be soon. Due to the up tick in activity, the locals believe that Katla will erupt in approximately 7 days.
Last edited by CJ on Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:13 am; edited 2 times in total
Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:46 am Post subject: UK airports shutdown unnecessary
UK airports shutdown unnecessary
20 Apr 2010 Tuesday
The blanket ban on flights has been lifted, as of 10pm on Tuesday, as British Airways claimed the unprecedented shutdown was unnecessary.
After six days without flights, which have cost the economy more than £1.6 billion, left 500,000 passengers stranded and disrupted schools, the no-fly zone was lifted.
The decision was made after ministers were put under pressure to explain why British flights were being stopped while most of European air space was open, despite the cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland. After a meeting between the Civil Aviation Authority, Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, and airlines it was agreed to open most British air space, including all airports, from 10pm last night.
Lord Adonis said: “Safety remains my paramount concern. Since the flight restrictions were imposed, the Civil Aviation Authority has been working around the clock with the aircraft manufacturing industry, the airlines and the research community to better understand how different concentrations of ash affect aircraft engines. As a result, the Civil Aviation Authority has now established a wider area in which it is safe to fly, consistent with the framework agreed by the EU transport ministers yesterday.”
Willie Walsh, the British Airways chief executive, said it could take “weeks” for the airline industry to return to a “normal level of operation”.
“I do not believe it was necessary to impose a blanket ban on all UK air space last Thursday,” he said.
Mr Walsh said he was “pleased” with the decision to reopen airports, but added: “We will have plenty of time to look back on what could have been done better and I do believe lessons can be learned from this.”
Aviation experts said the Government had previously ignored calls for an urgent review of the no-fly zone, which threatened to bankrupt several airlines.
Despite bold statements from the Prime Minister about emergency transport for tourists, fewer than 300 Britons were directly helped, after being allowed to board a Navy vessel in Spain, to the dismay of those left behind. As the crisis entered its seventh day:
* Thousands of schoolchildren faced major disruption to lessons and exam preparations because they or their teachers could not get home
* Airlines were facing a compensation bill from stranded passengers of at least £250? million
* Tourists were warned it could take “weeks” to repatriate everyone.
Airports dealt with 200 flights yesterday, eight per cent of usual operations, but only in Scotland and the North East.
The restrictive regime compared with 60 per cent of normal services taking off and landing in mainland Europe, amounting to 14,000 flights from hubs including Paris and Amsterdam.
More than 20 long-haul British Airways flights took off from abroad yesterday, expecting to land in Britain later today.
Airlines and airport operators said the CAA and Nats, the air traffic control centre, had “over-reacted” to the crisis caused by the ash cloud over Europe and the Atlantic.
David Henderson, of the Association of European Airlines, said Britain had taken a stricter approach than other parts of Europe.
“We had hoped there would be genuine co-ordination across Europe,” he said. “We are disappointed that this has not happened.
“There are probably 100 to 150 airlines in Europe, some large, some small, some tiny and some that are not going to be around in a week or two, that’s for sure.”
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, questioned the science behind the lockdown.
“What I would really like to know is whether we are absolutely certain that the initial decision taken to close down UK aviation at this level of risk was correct,” he said.
It emerged that two vastly differing maps of the ash cloud were being circulated by official bodies.
One, prepared by the government-controlled Met Office and used by the CAA and Nats, showed the ash cloud covering much of Europe.
A second, produced for the European air traffic control co-ordinator Eurocontrol limited the areas of danger to two high-density clouds over the Atlantic.
This second map and extensive test flights which have shown no negative effects on aircraft helped persuade many other European countries to reopen their air space.
European aviation ministers agreed to draw up plans to allow aircraft to fly in areas where the low concentration of ash from the Eyjafyoll volcano was not considered to pose a safety threat.
This policy meant that, ironically, other airlines were able to fly aircraft over London while British planes remained grounded.
Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, said Britain’s cautious approach was at odds with the more “pragmatic” response of other European nations.
Theresa Villiers, the shadow transport secretary, said the Labour government failed to deal promptly with the crisis.
A spokesman for the British Airline Pilots Association said he was disappointed that the
Government failed to act on its call for an aviation summit, which would have brought all the experts together.
“Clearly, pilots have considerable practical expertise and it is a pity this has not been drawn upon by the Department for Transport,” he said.
David Frost, the director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“When this is all over, a thorough review is clearly needed about how the authorities reacted.”
Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, whose department is responsible for the Met Office, made no public statement about the crisis.
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:11 am Post subject: No need to shut down all airspace
Remember that ash cloud? It didn't exist, says new evidence
Britain's airspace was closed under false pretences
satellite images reveal there was no doomsday volcanic ash cloud over the entire country.
Mysteriously - after the Polish plane crash - president buried - ALL CLEAR ...
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm .... the assassins have a lot of power
EVEN RUSH LIMBAUGH REPORTED THIS ON HIS RADIO SHOW!!
NEW evidence shows there was no all-encompassing cloud and, where dust was present, it was often so thin that it posed no risk.
The satellite images demonstrate that the skies were largely clear, which will not surprise the millions who enjoyed the fine, hot weather during the flight ban.
Jim McKenna, the Civil Aviation Authority's head of airworthiness, strategy and policy, admitted:
'It's obvious that at the start of this crisis there was a lack of definitive data.
Satellite images have revealed there may never have been a doomsday volcanic ash cloud over the UK (file picture)
'It's also true that for some of the time, the density of ash above the UK was close to undetectable.'
The satellite images will be used by airlines in their battle to win tens of millions of pounds in compensation from governments for their losses.
The National Air Traffic Control Service decision to ban flights was based on Met Office computer models
which painted a picture of a cloud of ash being blown south from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
These models should have been tested by the Met Office's main research plane, a BAE 146 jet,
but it was in a hangar to be repainted and could not be sent up until last Tuesday - the last day of the ban.
Evidence has emerged that the maximum density of the ash was only about one 20th of the limit that scientists,
the Government, and aircraft and engine manufacturers have now decided is safe.
British Airways chief Willie Walsh always insisted the total shutdown went too far.
'My personal belief is that we could have safely continued operating for a period,' he said.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Britain's ABTA, which represents British travel agents and tour operators,
said about 100,000 stranded British travellers should have been returned home by Monday morning.
About 35,000 more will remain marooned until Friday, the group said.
'While most flights are back to normal, and most stranded British passengers will be back by the end of this weekend,
there is still quite a high level of disruption in some destinations.
'In some areas of the world, there is a significant lack of air capacity to enable British people to be returned quickly,' Tanzer said.
Many Icelandic airports are closed and though authorities say Eyjafjallajokull is now producing much less ash, they confirmed no signs of the eruption ending.
I wonder if another influence to the air traffic shutdown is the Haldron collider's experiment causing the world's strongest gravitomagnetic field, which may have an effect on the aircraft instruments.
It may also be a cause to a lot of volcanic and earthquake activity.
This is just speculation on my part but a lot of speculation is coming true all the time.
We seemed to be getting new revelation on events happening daily and we're just seeing the start of these fearful things coming on the earth.
Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:30 am Post subject: KATLA, the largest Iceland volcano is waking
KATLA, the largest Iceland volcano is waking
April 27-29, 2010
Iceland Katla volcano had significant earthquakes.
I decided to put KATLA on this thread instead of a new one, both are ICELAND
Iceland’s Katla Volcano New Seismic Activity 4/28/10
Today, Iceland’s Katla volcano had a significant earthquake.
Although no eruption has happened yet, this would be the normal course of events prior to an eruption.
No official news story available at this time.
It is not known when Katla will erupt but it is commonly accepted, especially by the Icelandic population, that this is only the beginning of the saga that will be the eruption of this massive glacial volcano.
Earthquakes in Katla’s vicinity are the only real warning we have about when the eruption is getting close, and as we see seismic activity in the region increase, it will only mean one thing, that an eruption is imminent.
If you have been watching the eruptions at Eyjafjallajokull, you may be aware that this volcano is, historically, a precursor to large scale Katla eruptions.
The president of Iceland spoke with the BBC about a week ago, expressing his concerns about Katla.
He believes that it is not if Katla blows, but when.
The history with this volcano and Eyjafjallajokull indicate that Katla could erupt anytime between now and a year or two from now.
Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:53 am Post subject: Icelanders ask, what next?
Icelanders ask, what next?
I see nothing about Katla anywhere.
May 1, 2010 HVOLSVOLLUR, Iceland
Financial crisis, eruption test mettle of tiny North Atlantic nation.
It took Sigurdur Thorhallsson more than a decade to turn a patch of flat land wedged between glacier and ocean into a field fit to grow fodder grass. It took Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano just minutes to wreck it.
Iceland's financial crisis had already tested the 41-year-old farmer's dream by driving up repayments on his bank loan. But it was a flash flood triggered by the volcanic eruption last month that devastated him.
"It was very emotional for me. You could say it broke my heart, to see it destroy my land," said Thorhallsson, using a trailer to haul away some of the tons of mud, silt and volcanic ash left behind on the field when melting glacier ice sent floodwaters racing down the mountain.
It is seemingly endless work, but Thorhallsson is stoically determined to clean up the mess. Like many other Icelanders, he's trying to salvage a better future from the wreckage of the country's recent past.
The last few years have been traumatic for this tiny North Atlantic nation of 320,000 people.
A roaring economic boom that saw Iceland produce a crop of international jet-setters with a penchant for Alpine chalets and private planes was followed in 2008 by a spectacular bust. Suddenly, affluent Iceland was an economic basket case in need of financial life support from the International Monetary Fund.
"It has been a weird time," said Valy Thorsteinsdottir, 26, who recently returned from a trip to southeast Asia that showed her just how her country's image has changed.
"Usually I'm the first Icelander people have met. You used to get, 'Iceland, that's amazing: Bjork, hot springs.' Now people say, 'Iceland? Isn't it bankrupt?'"
And just when Icelanders thought things couldn't get any worse, Eyjafjallajokull awoke with its first eruption in almost 200 years.
An initial blast last month forced 500 people temporarily from their homes in the area, 75 miles east of Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. A second, bigger eruption that began April 14 shook the global economy. Fears the drifting ash cloud could damage jet engines grounded planes across northern Europe for almost a week, stranding millions of people and costing the aviation industry almost $2 billion.
Ironically, Iceland itself was initially little affected. Ashfall and flooding hit a small, sparsely populated area, and as winds blew the ash cloud east toward Europe, Iceland's international airport stayed open, although it later closed when the wind switched direction.
But Iceland's travel industry fears the bad publicity and aviation uncertainty will hit their summer tourist season. National carrier Icelandair say bookings for April were sharply down on expectations, and hotels report a spate of canceled bookings.
Thorsteinsdottir was stuck for several days in Bangkok, and found strangers suggesting — sometimes jokingly, sometimes in anger — that the gridlock was her fault.
"When I was holding my passport at the airport, I deliberately turned it the other way so people couldn't see where I was from," she said. "I was sick of people blaming me."
It has never been easy to be an Icelander. For centuries the people of this wind-swept rock, the descendants of Vikings who settled here more than 1,000 years ago, eked out a living from fishing and from hardscrabble farms.
Their foes included the unstable land itself. There is a volcanic eruption about every five years in Iceland; the worst, in 1783, spewed a deadly cloud of toxic gas and sparked famine that killed up to a quarter of Iceland's population and tens of thousands more across Europe.
This tough history has helped produce a hardy, egalitarian people undeterred by adversity — or, looked at another way, a nation of overconfident risk-takers.
Historian Gunnar Karlsson said Iceland's isolation from bigger nations had produced "a strong national consciousness and a feeling that we had something special."
Drawing on their egalitarian side, Icelanders established one of the world's first parliaments, the 1,000-year-old Althingi. They tapped the land's geological volatility for geothermal energy to heat houses, business and year-round outdoor swimming pools. With the money they made from fishing — by the 20th century a lucrative business — they built a cozy Scandinavian social safety net. In 2007, Iceland was declared the best country in the world to live in by the United Nations.
On the other hand, Iceland produced the "Viking capitalists" who set out early in the 21st century — armed with huge loans from Icelandic banks — to conquer businesses around the world, from London's Hamley's toy store to English football club West Ham.
Soon Iceland's banking sector dwarfed the rest of the economy and the country was awash in easy credit. Teenagers could get loans to buy fancy new cars; middle-class Icelanders bought the latest designer clothes and imported electronic goods. The new super-rich drove the streets of Reykjavik in Hummers and luxury cars.
"There were more private jets parked at Reykjavik airport than planes from our domestic airlines," said travel agent Jonas Thor, 61.
"For the older generation, we wondered, 'Where is the money coming from?' We never understood. And it turned out there was no money."
As the credit squeeze tightened in 2008, Iceland's economic house of cards collapsed. The three main banks went bust within a week of one another. The national currency plummeted and a series of angry protests — dubbed the Saucepan Revolution, after the pots and pans banged by the demonstrators — ousted the country's center-right government.
Eighteen months later, signs of decay are not obvious in Reykjavik, Iceland's tidy capital city. McDonald's decamped last year, and Pizza Hut is closing all but one of its outlets. But boutiques still line the main street, there are people in the bars and restaurants.
However, unemployment is now at 8 percent, up from almost nothing a few years ago, and many businesses and individuals — like farmer Thorhallsson — are struggling to pay off loans taken out in foreign currencies when the krona was at its strongest and Iceland had one of the world's highest per-capita incomes.
But for many Icelanders, the initial shock and anger have been replaced by a sense of reflection and social solidarity.
Last edited by CJ on Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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