Iceland volcano ash could reach Britain: Report (Lead, changing dateline)May 23rd, 2011 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS
London, May 23 (IANS) Ash from an Icelandic volcano eruption could reach northern Scotland by Tuesday as there are no signs of winds that might sweep it away, a media report said.
The Daily Telegraph said the ash is spreading towards Britain in a giant crescent, with the horns pointing south, which will approach the eastern edge of Ireland and enter northern Russia by late Monday.
Officials in France warned that flights would be cancelled if the cloud reaches Europe.
Grimsvoetn, Iceland’s most active volcano at the heart of its biggest glacier, began erupting late Saturday, sending a plume of smoke and ash 12 miles high. So much ash was blasted into the sky that it blocked out the sun and covered nearby villages and farms.
By Sunday, the ash had reached the capital Reykjavik, nearly 250 miles to the west, and all the country’s airspace was closing down.
In April last year, 34 countries shut their airspace after the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted due to fears that fine ash particles could cause jet engines to stall.
It was the largest such closure since the Second World War and millions of passengers were affected.
Experts and aviation authorities said the impact of the Grimsvoetn eruption should not be as severe and was likely to mainly affect Iceland.
However, they acknowledged that changing weather patterns could sweep the ash into areas where it would affect other countries.
Grimsvoetn, which has erupted nine times between 1922 and 2004, is located in an enormous caldera - a collapsed volcanic crater - five miles in diameter near the centre of the Vatnajoekull icefield, the Telegraph said.
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