[Bible Prophecy News] Volcano cloud chaos grows over Europe

0 views
Skip to first unread message

Pastor Dale Morgan

unread,
Apr 16, 2010, 9:48:54 PM4/16/10
to Bible-Pro...@googlegroups.com
Perilous Times

Volcano cloud chaos grows over Europe

Ash cloud set to block 17,000 flights in Europe: Eurocontrol

Brussels (AFP) April 16, 2010 - Some 17,000 flights in European airspace are likely to be cancelled Friday due to the dangers posed by a volcanic ash cloud spreading from Iceland, the intergovernmental Eurocontrol agency said. The air traffic coordinating agency warned that there was plenty more travel misery to come for travellers in Europe and beyond.

"Forecasts suggest that the cloud of volcanic ash is continuing to move east and south-east and that the impact will continue for at least the next 24 hours," it said in the statement. Eurocontrol "expects around 11,000 flights to take place today in European airspace. On a normal day, we would expect 28,000." Of the 300 transatlantic flights that would usually arrive in Europe in the morning, only 100-120 managed to get over, said Eurocontrol, which coordinates air navigation services across Europe.

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) April 16, 2010

A huge cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland cast a growing shadow over Europe on Friday, grounding thousands more flights in the continent's biggest air travel shutdown since World War II.

As the giant no-fly zone stretched further, Europe's air traffic control centre predicted 17,000 flights would be cancelled Friday.

Experts warned the fallout from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southeast Iceland could take several days to clear and aviation authorities refused to say when the skies would clear again.

The volcano spewed out more smoke and ash on Friday building up the cloud that is being blown towards Europe. The cloud now extends from the Atlantic to the Russian capital and from the Arctic Circle to Austria and Bulgaria in southern Europe.

Thousands of people were stranded in airports around the world as a global flight backlog built up.

Europe's three biggest airports -- London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt -- were closed by the ash, which is a threat to jet engines and pilot visibility.

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control group, said only 11,000 of the daily 28,000 flights in the affected zone would take off Friday. At least half of the 600 daily flights between Europe and North America would be cancelled.

About 6,000 flights to and within Europe were cancelled Thursday.

Poland, Britain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium and the Netherlands shut down all or most of their airspace.

Finland, France, Germany, Russia and Spain experienced major disruption, although Sweden and Ireland gradually reopened their airspace and Norway temporarily allowed some flights as the ash drifted away.

"Forecasts suggest that the cloud of volcanic ash is continuing to move east and southeast and that the impact will continue for at least the next 24 hours," Eurocontrol said in a statement.

Most aviation authorities promised a review on Friday, but the Dutch transport inspectorate set the uncertain tone: no flights "until further notice".

Poland had considered delaying the funderal on Sunday of President Lech Kaczysnki because the cloud threatened the flights of US President Barack Obama and other world leaders.

But a senior presidential aide insisted it would go ahead as planned in the southern city of Krakow, even though its airport was closed Friday.

Other diplomatic engagements were hit however -- Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva was stranded in Prague after Czech airspace closed.

In Britain, airports including London Heathrow, the world's busiest international air hub, were deserted as operators warned travellers not even to turn up for booked flights.

British officials extended the ban on non-emergency flights in most of its airspace until 0000 GMT Saturday "at the earliest", although some flights in Northern Ireland and western Scotland will be allowed.

The Eurostar Channel tunnel rail service reported thousands of passengers rushing to get places on its London-Paris trains. It laid on three extra trains but still could not keep up with demand.

Baltic ferries also reported a surge in demand.

Debbie Eidsforth, 36, spent the night at Heathrow and was trying to get back to Adelaide in Australia via Hong Kong.

"I had paid 5,500 pounds (6,300 euros, 8,500 dollars) for my flights, but it doesn't matter what class you fly in, everyone's in the same situation," she said.

In Scotland, health officials warned that ash falling to the ground over northern Britain might cause symptoms such as itchy eyes or a sore throat.

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport prepared beds and meals for 2,000 stranded travellers, hundreds spent the night at Brussels airport and at Paris Charles de Gaulle, passengers slept on cafe benches.

The prevailing winds, however, allowed Icelandic airports to remain open.

The volcano on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in southern Iceland erupted just after midnight on Wednesday.

The ash drifted at an altitude of about 8.0-10 kilometres (5.0-6.0 miles). Although it could not been seen from the ground, experts said it posed a major threat.

In the past 20 years, there have been 80 recorded encounters between aircraft and volcanic clouds, causing the near-loss of two Boeing 747s with almost 500 people on board and damage to 20 other planes, experts said.

earlier related report

Europe faces days of air chaos from volcanic ash cloud

Reykjavik (AFP) April 16, 2010 - Air travellers are facing prolonged delays after a huge cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano provoked the most extensive shutdown of airspace since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Experts warned the fallout from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southeast Iceland, which covered the skies of northern Europe Thursday, could take several days to clear.

The eruption has already melted the 250-metre (820-feet) thick glacier around it, causing severe floods.

And with thousands stranded in airports around the world, the European air traffic control group Eurocontrol said planes could stay grounded for at least 48 hours.

It estimated that 5,000 to 6,000 flights were cancelled overall on Thursday as grey ash from the second major eruption in Iceland in less than a month blew across the north Atlantic, closing major airports more than 2,100 kilometres (1,300 miles) away.

Eurocontrol predicted that at least half of the 600 daily flights between Europe and North America would be cancelled Friday.

Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden shut down their airspace because the ash threatened jet engines and visibility.

Finland, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain also experienced major disruption.

The cloud spread over northern Poland late Thursday, threatening to disrupt attendance at this weekend's memorial and funeral services for President Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash Saturday.

As Polish aviation authorities closed airspace over the north of the country, US President Barack Obama and other world leaders were monitoring the cloud before confirming their attendance at the ceremonies.

Hundreds of flights out of London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports were cancelled, including transatlantic services. Britain extended its ban past midday Friday.

The National Air Traffic Services, which manages British airspace, said the cloud was moving south and grounded all non-emergency flights until 1200 GMT Friday.

Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz ordered hotel rooms to be provided to Saudi travellers stranded in Britain by flight ban.

In Scotland, health officials warned that ash falling to the ground over northern Britain might cause symptoms such as itchy eyes or a sore throat.

Belgian and Norwegian authorities said their airspace would remain closed most of Friday and that the outlook was not optimistic for the two subsequent days.

Flights headed for Europe were grounded all around the world. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was stranded in New York, the NTB news agency reported.

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport prepared beds and meals for stranded travellers. Hundreds spent the night at the Brussels airport and others across northern Europe.

The prevailing winds, however, allowed Icelandic airports to remain open.

The ash drifted at an altitude of about 8.0-10 kilometers (5.0-6.0 miles). Although it could not been seen from the ground, experts said it posed a major threat.

In the past 20 years, there have been 80 recorded encounters between aircraft and volcanic clouds, causing the near-loss of two Boeing 747s with almost 500 people on board and damage to 20 other planes, experts said.

The volcano on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in southern Iceland erupted just after midnight on Wednesday.

Smoke from the top crater stacked more than 6,000 metres (20,000 feet) into the sky, meteorologists said. A 500-metre fissure appeared at the top of the crater on Wednesday, Iceland's RUV broadcaster reported.

The heat melted the surrounding glacier, causing major flooding that forced the evacuation of about 800 people.

"We have two heavy floods coming out from the melting of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier," police spokesman Roegnvaldur Olafsson told AFP.

The eruption -- in a remote area about 125 kilometres (75 miles) east of Reykjavik -- was bigger than the blast at the nearby Fimmvorduhals volcano last month.

"It is very variable how long these eruptions last. Anywhere from a few days to over a year," said geophysics professor and civil protection advisor Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson.

"Judging from the intensity of this one, it could last a long time."

He noted there were more than 250 metres of thick ice on top of the crater that quickly melted and caused massive flooding.

Last month, the first volcano eruption at the Eyjafjallajokull glacier since 1823 -- and Iceland's first since 2004 -- briefly forced 600 people from their homes in the same area.

That eruption at the Fimmvorduhals volcano only ended on Tuesday, hours before the new one sent up the cloud.

earlier related report
Iceland volcano flight disruptions reach US

New York (AFP) April 15, 2010 - Air connections between some major US cities and Britain and points in Europe were cancelled Thursday after a volcano in Iceland spewed huge clouds of ash into the skies above northern Europe.

"There are no flights that are leaving or coming from the United Kingdom," said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports.

The intergovernmental Eurocontrol agency said half of all transatlantic flights are expected to be cancelled on Friday due to the volcanic ash. An average of 600 flights take place each day between Europe and North America.

Overall, 5,000 to 6,000 flights were likely cancelled on Thursday, with the airspace of Britain, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the north of France, parts of northern Germany and part of northern Poland closed to civilian aircraft, according to Eurocontrol.

Thousands of flights were grounded as countries imposed the biggest airspace closure since the September 11 attacks in 2001, while experts warned that fallout from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano could take several days to clear.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it was coordinating with Britain's main air navigation services provider, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) "on implementing contingency measures to ensure that flights are re-routed through adjacent airspace" to avoid the ash plumes.

US airlines scrambled to come up with alternatives as thousands of customers were forced to delay their flight plans.

United Airlines said "we are experiencing major disruption to our services and timetable" at London Heathrow airport, and noted the situation was evolving after NATS restricted flights within affected areas.

"This is an evolving situation," it added, saying it had issued travel waivers for its customers to change their travel plans free of charge.

Continental Airlines cancelled at least 32 flights and said that its Newark hub was severely affected, as well as some flights from its Houston, Texas hub.

It allowed refunds and waived change fees and fare differences for customers with travel starting by May 2. For other dates, change fees were waved although fare differences may apply.

And US Airways said it had cancelled six flights so far from Philadelphia to Manchester, Heathrow and Dublin.

Delta Air Lines cancelled 65 international flights -- 35 of them late Thursday and the rest for early Friday -- from its US hubs to Paris, Amsterdam, London, Manchester, Dublin, Shannon, Brussels and Bombay.

All Delta flights to British airports and Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport were cancelled for Thursday and early Friday.

It allowed customers ticketed to travel from or through affected areas Thursday through Sunday could make a one-time change to their flight plans without fees so long as tickets are changed by April 30. Customers whose flights were cancelled were also allowed to request refunds.

Airports serving Washington were running normally but bracing for disruption.

"There will be (delays). Most of our international flights from that part of the world are in the afternoon," said Courtney Mickalonis, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Transit Authority.

At nearby Baltimore airport, the one direct daily flight to Europe, operated by British Airways, was cancelled.

"It very much depends on what happens with the volcano" as to whether there would be further delays, airport spokesman Jonathan Dean told AFP.

Florida airports felt little impact from the disruptions in Europe.

Orlando International Airport spokesman Rod Johnson said there had only been two flight cancellations due to the volcanic ash.

Miami Airport reported that one of two British Airways flights due Thursday had been cancelled and further delays were possible when flights arrive from Europe and return.

A spokesman for Delta Airlines at Atlanta International Airport said British-connected flights had been shut down.

Chicago's O'Hare airport said 20 international flights to European destinations had been canceled so far, while Midway international airport reported normal operations.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages