Sunday, March 21, 2010

Iceland prepares for second, more devastating volcanic eruption

An aerial photo of Eyjafjallajokull volcano

Iceland is preparing for an even more powerful and potentially destructive
volcano after a small eruption at the weekend shot red-hot molten lava high
into the sky.

About 500 people were safely evacuated from the land close to the
Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which is around 120 kilometres (75 miles)
southeast of the capital, Reykjavik. The country's two airports were closed
for most of the day and transatlantic flights re-routed to avoid the risk of
ash blocking visibility and destroying engines.

Sigmundsson, a geophysicist, concluded that the immediate danger was
receding and that the lava was flowing along a one kilometre-long fissure.

However, the danger is that the small volcano is just the beginning and that
it will trigger the far more powerful volcano of Katla, which nestles
beneath Myrdalsjoekull.

"Eyjafjallajokull has blown three times in the past thousand years,"
Dr McGarvie told The Times, "in 920AD, in 1612 and between 1821
and 1823
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