Sunday, March 21, 2010

Icelandic Volcano Erupts, Forcing 500 People From Their Homes

Eyjafjallajökull GlacierImage via Wikipedia

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- A volcanic eruption east of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier has forced the evacuation of more than 500 people and the cancellation of all flights to and from the island, the Department of Civil Protection said.

Farmers in nearby areas have also been told to leave their homes and the Icelandic Red Cross has set up three emergency centers to assist the evacuees, the department said on its Web site. The volcano, which hasn’t erupted for more than 1,000 years, is spewing lava from 15 places, the department said.

The eruption started at about 10 p.m. local time last night east of the north Atlantic island’s fifth-largest glacier. The volcano erupted along a 1 kilometer-long (0.6 miles) rift, running from northeast to southwest.

All flights have been canceled because the eruptions are taking place less than 120 miles from Iceland’s main airport at Keflavik. The cancellation has stranded about 1,000 passengers, according to the Department of Civil Protection.

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