April 22, 2010

Volcano Ash Diminishing But Tremors Growing Stronger

Despite strong tremors in the area, much less ash and smoke were rising from the Iceland volcano that crippled European air travel for much of the past week.

Meanwhile, skies started to clear in Europe, which led to a rare sighting of blue skies in countries where such sights are usually obstructed by airplane exhaust fumes, according to Associated Press (AP) writers Joji Sakurai and Karl Ritter.

"Just as city lights make it necessary for us to go to the desert to appreciate the true glitter of stars, so has modern aviation dulled us to what the noontime sky can really look like-- until the erupting volcano in Iceland offered a reminder," Sakurai and Ritter noted in an April 21 article.

"It's as if somebody suddenly ripped a veil away, exposing the true colors of the heavens," they added. "Amid frustration at the travel disruptions caused by the volcano, some European urbanites have also found something eerily pleasant in the sight of a sky without planes."

However, the now infamous volcano located beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier is currently producing stronger tremors than ever, meteorological office geophysicist Steinunn Jakobsdottir told reporters during a press conference, adding that the tremors are a sign that the now eight-day long eruptions at the volcano are "not stopping yet"¦ as it looks now it could go on for a while."

In addition to fears over the earth tremors, residents in Iceland have other causes for worry. Ash continued to fall in the areas surrounding the volcano, creating concern that it could harm livestock, and experts are warning about a possible eruption at the nearby Katla volcano--an eruption that would be far stronger than the ongoing one at the Eyjafjallajokull glacier.

"A Katla eruption would be 10 times stronger and shoot higher and larger plumes of ash into the air than its smaller neighbor," AP reporter Carlo Piovano noted in an April 20 article, calling it a possible "worst-case scenario for the airline industry and travelers around the globe."


On the Net:

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

Katla Volcano