The erupting Grimsvotn volcano in southeast Iceland forced the closure of Icelandic airports yesterday to avert any possbile danger posed to aircraft by volcanic ash. The country’s biggest airport is now scheduled to re-open this afternoon with extra flights to clear the backlog.
The Grimsvotn volcano began erupting violently on Saturday evening and has created a large amount of ash which has been falling on nearby towns. Reykjavik was even affected for a short while yesterday evening.
Now the winds have shifted, Keflavik International Airport will be able to open again.
Icelandair says it has scheduled extra flights this afternoon and evening in an effort to quickly clear the backlog of passengers.
Scientists believe the current eruption will probably not cause international air travel chaos like the Eyjafjallajokull eruption did last year. The ash seems to be heavier and faster to fall back to earth, the wind directions are more favourable, and Grimsvotn often calms down significantly within a few days of erupting. It is Iceland’s most active volcano and last erupted in 2004.
More information on the Grimsvotn eruption can be found on the following websites:
(Photo: Icelandic Met Office // NASA)