Giant Volcanic Ash Cloud Closes UK Airspace Until Further Notice


From mid-day today UK airspace has been completely closed to traffic because of a very unusual set of natural circumstances. It is not known whether this will last a few hours, or even a few weeks. A huge plume of volcanic ash measuring two thirds the size of Great Britain is moving south east from a major volcanic eruption in Iceland. A combination of weather conditions and wind speeds has sent the ash cloud towards UK.

The volcanic ash poses a threat to jet engines because of its abrasive action and it has been known to shut down aircraft engines without warning. The Civil Aviation Authority oversees air travel safety in UK and they made the decision in conjunction with the meteorological office. BBC World News is providing frequent updates on the situation.

The volcano in Iceland is underneath a huge glacier and the fire has melted the ice and caused serious flooding in the local area. However, where fire meets water at the cone of the volcano which is plugged with ice the molten rock explodes and is propelled hundreds of feet up into the air, forming a huge plume of fine abrasive ash.

Norway, and Finland have closed their airspace and Denmark will close theirs from 6pm this evening. Updates from the UK meteorological office and the CAA are due at 6pm when the situation will be reassessed.

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