Volcanic ash clouds could reach Britain

Icelandic volcano eruption spurs air travel fears in Brits due to last years volcanic travel chaos.

Ash cloud
Ash cloud
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Icelandic volcano eruption spurs air travel fears in Brits due to last years volcanic travel chaos.

Following Saturday’s Icelandic volcano eruption, a repeat of last year's travel chaos could make its way to Britain tomorrow.

Authorities in the UK initially believed Britain’s airspace would not be affected, but experts now fear due to a low pressure weather system, ash will start being blown towards Britain. A high concentration of ash could lead the Civil Aviation Authority to enforce a no fly zone.

‘If the eruption continues with its current intensity and we get unfavourable winds, we could see ash over the UK,' says Dr Dave McGarvie, a volcanologist at The Open University.

'The experience gained from the 2010 eruption – especially by the Met office, the airline industry, and the engine manufacturers – should mean less disruption to travellers.’

However, a scientific study recently published by experts at the University of Iceland claimed that the degree of ash was high enough to both damage engines and cause a disaster.

Recent warnings have informed the world that the forecast will not change over the next five days, and the volcano will continue to release ash at the same rate.

Icelands Keflavik airport was closed over the weekend, and 40 international flights were cancelled because of the 15 mile high cloud of ash. Residents were told to wear masks and stay indoors.

‘There is a very large area in south-east Iceland where there is almost total darkness and heavy fall of ash,’ says Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland.


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