Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hekla: Ash cloud fears as Icelandic volcano 'ready to erupt'

One of Iceland’s most feared volcanoes looks ready to erupt, experts said on Wednesday, raising fears of a new ash cloud halting flights over Europe.

The Hekla volcano is close to the ash-spewing Eyjafjallajökull, which last year caused the biggest closure of airspace shut down since the Second World War, affecting more than 100,000 flights and eight million passengers.

“The movements around Hekla have been unusual in the last two to three days,” University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson said.

While this might not necessarily mean an immediate blast, “the volcano is ready to erupt,” he stressed. “The mountain has been slowly expanding in the last few years because of magma buildup.”

Another geophysicist, Ari Trausit Gudmundsson, also said the measurements around Hekla were very “unusual” and that the volcano looked ready to blow. “Something is going on,” he said.

The volcano, dubbed the “Gateway to Hell” by Icelanders in the Middle Ages, is one of the country’s most active, having erupted some 20 times over the past millennium, most recently on February 26, 2000. (read more)