Iceland volcano eruptions continue, flights cancelled

Other News Materials 24 May 2011 11:35 (UTC +04:00)

Iceland's most-active volcano, Grimsvotn, continued to erupt Tuesday, spewing ash into the atmosphere, resulting in flight cancellations between London and Scotland, in northern Britain, DPA reported.

Flights from Stavanger and Haugesund in western Norway, were halted at 0600 GMT Tuesday morning, Norwegian aviation authority Avinor said.

Weather and atmospheric conditions at the Grimsvotn volcano made it difficult to estimate the plume height, but radar images suggested "the plume was not rising as high" as previously, Teitur Arason at the Icelandic Meteorological Office told the German Press Agency dpa.

The readings indicated the plume was between 5 and 7 kilometres, he said, but snow fall and cloud cover made estimates problematic.

Conditions were expected to improve later in the day allowing a spotter plane to fly over the area. When Grimsvotn erupted Saturday it created a plume about 20 kilometres high. By Monday it was between 8 to 10 kilometres.

Iceland late Monday reopened all its international airports, including the main international airport at Keflavik.

A year ago, a volcano that erupted under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier caused major disruptions to air traffic in Europe, with hundreds of flights grounded for days due to mechanical safety concerns over the volcanic ash cloud.

Ash continued to fall in Iceland, affecting farms and communities south of the volcano and in combination with strong created an "ash blizzard" with very poor visibility, Arason said.