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Iceland’s volcano Eyjafjallajokull airline disruption redux

Teavel disrupted and 8 million tourists stranded because of Eyjafjallajokull
Teavel disrupted and 8 million tourists stranded because of Eyjafjallajokull
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

According to today’s article on the TravelMole website “Airlines have been warned that the risk of an eruption at Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano has increased, causing fears of a repeat of the chaos of 2010 when thousands of flights across Europe were grounded due to the Eyjafjallajokull eruption.”

At least this volcano has an easier name to spell and pronounce, but another Eyjafjallajokull will wreak havoc with airline schedules on both sides of the North Atlantic.

Another article on TravelMole reports “Eyjafjallajokull and Grimsvötn volcanoes erupted in 2010 and 2011 respectively causing mass disruption to Icelandic and European airspace.” The “increased activity in the Brðabunga volcano in Vatnajökull glacier in the South East of Iceland” caused visitor warnings to be issued and a Code Orange declared. That is just one step below Code Red, which means the eruption is actually occurring.

Yahoo News reported that “Authorities evacuated tourists and hikers overnight from the area around Bardarbunga volcano, which kicked into seismic action on Monday with the biggest earthquake registered since 1996.” Since Monday the volcano has stabilized, leaving officials to say that it was “still in danger of erupting” but could remain in this state for an indeterminate period and possibly not have a catastrophic eruption.

After Monday’s 4.5 Richter scale earthquake, “Scientists believe its explosion would be large enough to disrupt air traffic over northern Europe and the northern Atlantic, as well as causing major damage on the island nation from volcanic ash and glacial flooding.”

Bardarbunga is Iceland’s second largest mountain and sits in the largest volcanic area on the island. Whole towns and all the hikers that could be located have been evacuated from the area. Officials are still searching for anyone missed in this popular summer trekking region.

More than 8 million travelers were stranded for weeks in airports around the globe when Eyjafjallajokull spewed a six mile plume of ash into North Atlantic airspace on April 18, 2010. Travelers are advised to monitor conditions and be prepared for possible extended disruptions in their travel plans should an eruption occur.