The Icelandic Volcano and Holiday Planning
Article by Patrick Omari
The Eyjafjallajokull volcano last erupted in 1821 for a period of 14 months and, according to records, every time it does so, it’s neighbor or “angry sister” Katla follows.
Katla, as is suggested by the name ‘angry sister’, is a larger and more violent volcano situated next to it’s Eyjafjallajokull. Currently scientists are monitoring the volcano for any signs of seismic activity similar to those recorded under Eyjafjallajokull just before it’s most recent eruption.
Katla has erupted 16 times since 930 and on different occasions has managed to tear chunks our of the glacier above it causing the Myrdalsjokull glaciers to break and discharge the same amount of water as would be from the amazon, nile and mississippi combined and also dispel smoke clouds so big that ash has been found to settle as far as Scotland.
In the past, the eruptions of both the volcanoes have caused disruption not only in Iceland but also for the whole of the Northern Hemisphere. Dust and sulphur from the ash clouds have been known to travel over much of Europe casting a haze over Norway, The Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and according to records, past eruptions may have affected weather up until a few years after the event.
The most recent volcanic eruption has already caused noticeable disruption for holiday-makers, travelers, airlines, travel agents and the government. Initial signs of an eruption first started on 20th March 2010 and the second, more obvious phase started on the 14th April. This was the eruption that led to a huge ash cloud moving over much of Europe and consequently leading to the closure of UK airspace, airports and the cancellation of many inbound and outbound flights between the 15th and 20th April.
The decision to close the airspace above the UK was made as The National Air Traffic Service warned that the volcanic ash present in the cloud spreading across Europe posed a significant safety thready to aircraft.
It is unsure as to whether the volcano will erupt again and how much disruption will be caused in the future due to the ash clouds, which is why it is incredibly important to be stringent with any holiday plans that are made during this period and to make sure you are prepared for any eventuality.
Make sure to check with your travel agent, flight provider, airport parking provider, insurance company, holiday home, bank and whoever else may be involved win any aspect of your holiday to check their policies surrounding problems with traveling and the volcano. You do not want to be caught short if you end up stuck abroad or alternatively, stuck in the UK when you should be on holiday.
It is important to make sure you have an extra supply of money in a climate such as this, to ensure that if you are stuck abroad, need to change your flights, stay an extra night of couple of nights in different accommodation, make special arrangements to get home or in any other number of situations that may arise that it is possible to do so. It is also important to check companies policies on cancellations and amendments etc so that you are able to change your flights, extend your airport parking, extend your stay in a holiday home or change the dates of your holiday if you end up stuck at home.
All this extra care and hassle may seem an annoying addition to holiday planning stress but it will only make sure that you are prepared and if anything lead to a more relaxed and smooth running holiday.
About the Author
Patrick is an expert Research and Travel consultant. His current interest is in Belfast Airport Parking, Q Park Belfast Airport and Stansted Parking Long Stay