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Eruption of Volcano Beneath Eyjafjallajoekull Glacier in Iceland Causes Flooding, Sends Ash Across Europe – April 17th, 2010

63.6N 19.7W

April 17th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

Volcanic Ash Spreading from Iceland to Western Europe - April 15th, 2010

Volcanic Ash Spreading from Iceland to Western Europe - April 15th, 2010

Ash Over Western Europe - April 15th, 2010

Ash Over Western Europe

Ash Over Gdańsk Bay - April 15th, 2010

Ash Over Gdańsk Bay

A plume of ash has spread across northern Europe from a volcano beneath the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier in southern Iceland. Icelandic media report that the eruption is continuing, but there have been no earth tremors since Thursday evening.

Volcanic ash has fallen in parts of eastern Iceland and there are fears that ash could spread to Reykjavik if the wind direction changes.

There are fears of an even bigger eruption if the vulcanism sets off the nearby Katla Volcano, which is also covered in ice.

Air traffic has been severely disrupted across northern Europe by the volcanic ash, seen stretching from Iceland (upper left corner) to Western Europe (right) in the main image.

Airspace has been closed or flights cancelled in countries including the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and France.

All flights in and out of the UK and several other European countries have been suspended as ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland moves south. Two of the detail images show the ash veiling the skies over Western Europe, while another provides a map of the spreading of the ash.

Close-up of Ash Plume

Close-up of Ash Plume

Spreading of Ash Across Europe © Met Office (UK)

Spreading of Ash Across Europe

In addition, the eruption has caused parts of the glacier to break up and melt, causing flooding in areas around the erupting volcano and prompting the second evacuation of local people in 48 hours. The level of the glacial Markarfljot river – swollen with ice and mud – has also risen. The flooding has cut off the coast road from the area to the capital Reykjavik and threatens isolated farms.

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