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Friday, 23 April 2010

Keflavik airport closed today

With the lifting of air restrictions late on Wednesday night, things are slowy returning to normal here in Britain, for the first time since the eruption began, Iceland faces the prospect of air space closures of their own. A change in wind riection necessitates the temporary closure of Keflavik International and Reykjavik City airports in the south west of the country.

The volcano, which is situated beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, about 120km south-east of Reykjavik, has been erupting now for eight days. Tremors are continuing, with a thick cloud of ash and smoke pumping out into the surrounding air. The cloud may be lower, but it is still volatile, posing a potential health risk due to large amounts of flouride.

A statement from the Icelandic aviation authority last night said

"With a view to the ash distribution forecast for Friday April 23 it can be expected that the flight zone for Keflavik and Reykjavik Airports will be closed for a certain period of time."

They went on to say, "This is for the first time that the flight zone around the two Icelandic international airports has closed since the beginning of the eruption,"

Meterological forecaster was more circumspect, stating "The wind at low levels is an easterly wind and so that is blowing it (ash) across Reykjavik and Keflavik, but the wind at high levels is still westerly". It was the high level winds that spread the ash towards Europe.

Speculation is mounting with regard to the nature of this eruption, which continues to pump its deadly cloud into the atmosphere. Minor tremors have also been reported. Seismologist Bryndis Brandsdottir said these tremors could indicate a build up of lava, or molten rock, within the crater.

She said that if the lava found itt's way out, which eventually of course it will, it would most likely flow down the north side of the mountain, where the floods took place last week. Opinion though seems to be divided, as another seismologist indidated that things seemed to be quietening down. It is as always, pure speculation and no one knows for sure what will happen or when.

Travellers to the region can though breath a huge sigh of relief with the news that the ring road has now re-opened, and although Katla is being monitored, the two volcanoes are not connected, and there is no sign of any activity there.

The latest news releases on the evolving situation can be found here

The website for Keflavik International can be found here

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