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REUTERS / Sigtryggur Johannsson

Visiting Iceland anytime soon? Well, it’s been reported  that the Bardarbunga volcano might erupt sometime soon, and if it does, travel might be a little difficult. But not as badly as 2 previous volcano eruptions in Iceland.

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This sulfuric crater is part of an 8,884-foot-high active volcano – one of the few accessible active volcanoes in the (hint!!) Americas. But where in the world is it? Venture a guess in the comments, and then find out »

Iceland Volcano Disrupts Air Travel...Again
Photo: Reuters

Update: European air traffic controllers said airspace will return to normal on Thursday, after the Grimsvotn volcano eruption in Iceland last weekend. More than a 1,000 flights were canceled due to the plume of ash and soot.

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Iceland’s main airport remains closed and roads covered in gray soot, after the Grimsvotn volcano erupted on Sunday, May 22, 2011.  It was the volcano’s largest eruption in 100 years. The volcano has already forced the Keflavik airport to close and forced the cancellation of 40 international flights.

More airport closures and flight cancellations are possible as the plums of ash continue to move toward the UK. Officials at the National Air Traffic Service Ltd. say air services from 12 Scottish airports, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen may be interrupted.  U.S. President Barak Obama had to curtail his trip to Ireland due to the moving ash cloud.

Scientists don’t believe this volcano’s ash will wreak more havoc on Europe’s airports than last year’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption — that incident stranded 10 million people and was several billions of dollars in losses.

Not all volcanoes are travel obstacles. In fact some travelers flock to them. Find out how you can explore Hawaiian volcanoes. Check out our hot lava flow slideshow.

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Photo: Mount Kilauea erupting March 6 in Hawaii (USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory)

Mount Kilauea attracted a slurry of national media attention on March 7, a few days after the Big Island volcano began erupting from a new location, and hot lava spewed up to 80 feet into the air. Major media outlets from California to New York picked up the story and splashed it around the globe.

I’m currently living on the Big Island about 20 miles from the volcano, so it wasn’t long before I received concerned phone calls from friends, along with an e-mail from my mother on the East Coast. “Let me hear from you,” she wrote — her way of asking if I’m still alive. Like most non-Hawaiian residents, my mom doesn’t realize Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983.

Volcanic activity is nothing new on the Big Island, but the recent activity is significant and is being closely watched by the U.S. Geological Survey and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea is located. USGS scientists said the eruption is the first of its kind in 14 years.

“Unpredictability is the key [to Kilauea],” said Mardie Lane, a park ranger at HVNP, during a phone call on Monday. “We’re dealing with Mother Nature at its best and it can change quickly.” She stressed the importance for visitors to follow park guidelines and not enter closed areas of the park. READ MORE

Volcanic Lightning near Mount Shinmoe

Shinmoedake, a volcano in southern Japan, erupted for the ninth time in a week. The 4,660-foot volcano spewed a cloud of smoke and ash as high as 4,920 feet on Wednesday.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a level 3 alert, which indicates an eruption may seriously affect places near residential areas. Evacuations are carried out when the alert reaches a level 5.

The volcano, one of 20 inside the Mount Kirishima volcano group, woke from its dormant state on Jan. 26. The JMA says the lava dome in the crater has grown from 10 meters to about 600 meters. On Friday, Jan. 28, volcanic lightning lit up the smoke-filled sky above the volcano.

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