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Sat., April 17, 2010, 1:33 p.m.

Volcano in Iceland causes chaos…

Photo Credit: MSNBC
Photo Credit: MSNBC

Good morning, Netizens...

When the Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH'-plah-yer-kuh-duhl) volcano in Iceland first began erupting last Wednesday, hardly anyone in the United States and various other countries gave it much thought. We've had our own earthquakes and volcanoes here in the States so why would we, as a general rule, become obsessed with a volcano in Iceland whose name only few Americans can spell, much less pronounce?

The reasons are many because the implications of this eruption are wide-reaching. Air travel throughout major portions of Europe, portions of Russia and Scandinavia are all but shut down. Upcoming plane flights are being cancelled into and out of England, France and other European countries, leaving travelers stranded and creating economic and social chaos throughout the area.

However, the worst news may yet to come, because this particular volcano has a previous history of long-lived eruptions. According to the Associated Press in 1821 the Eyjafjallajokull volcano managed to erupt for a year nonstop. Can you imagine the chaos created by shutting down Heathrow International Airport in England for a year? Stranger things have happened.

At last report the volcano shows no signs of lessening the ash cloud that currently reaches well into Europe. Some limited air travel is still taking place, but the European air navigation safety agency Eurocontrol says that only some 5,000 flights will take place in Europe on Saturday compared to 22,000 in normal circumstances. On Friday, U.S. airlines canceled 280 of the more than 330 trans-Atlantic flights of a normal day. This is costing the airline industry approximately $200 million per day.

As usual, all we can do is wait for Mother Nature to conclude what she has started.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.