Volcanic ash cloud easing off over Iceland

The owner of Hotel Laki in Iceland, in one of the areas worst affected by volcanic ash, says he thinks this summer’s tourist season will be good, despite the current “setback”. He also offered locals bored of the ash to come and stay at the hotel for a change of scenery.

Hordur Davidsson says the outlook for summer is good; making the valid point that the tourism industry near Eyjafjallajokull (and across Iceland generally) was quick to bounce back from last year’s eruption and have a good summer. He told RUV that any bored people in the neighbourhood wanting a change should come and sit out the ash cloud in style at the hotel.

Meanwhile, the amount of ash falling on the town of Kirkjubaejarklaustur has reduced dramatically and the sky was even blue yesterday evening. That is a significant improvement on the coal-black morning the town’s residents endured. One farmer said it was like somebody had taped black rubbish bags over his windows. Strong northerly winds are blowing the ash out to sea, where it will hopefully fall down quickly.

The local police chief told RUV last night that the windy weather was causing a lot of dust storms; but that it was taking the ash away and could hopefully allow for the reopening of roads at some point today.

The eruption itself was still stable last night, much less powerful than on Saturday; but not showing signs of stopping just yet.

Ash over Scotland today has already caused some airlines to postpone flights, including Icelandair’s flights to the UK — but the problem is expected to be short lived and disruption later in the week minimal, according to British transport secretary Phillip Hammond. Airlines and aviation authorities are better equipped this time than they were a year ago and flight delays are not expected to be nearly as widespread.

See a truly mesmerising video of the volcano taken on Saturday by Stod 2’s Jon Olafur Magnusson, here. The music is Saeglopur by Sigur Ros.

More information on the Grimsvotn eruption can be found on the following websites:

Volcano-related advice and news for travellers in Iceland

The University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences

The Icelandic Met Office

The Police Civil Defence Agency