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Latest update : 2010-04-19

The blogosphere comments on the disruption in Europe caused by the ash cloud

In this edition: The blogosphere comments on the disruption in Europe caused by the ash cloud; Web users monitor the volcano in Iceland that is at the origin of this extraordinary situation; and Icelanders poke fun at foreign journalists.

ASH CLOUD

Empty airports, thousands of planes grounded, many travellers taken unaware … The air traffic in northern Europe was heavily disrupted the entire weekend, due to an ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland. There has been much reaction on the web to this extraordinary situation.

Several videos, like this one, appeared quickly online. Images filmed in airports such as Manchester or Istanbul, showing them to be more or less deserted, the few travellers present are trying to find out how they can continue their trip.

The web site of the New York Times has created this map for web users; it gives information on the different airports that are closed in Europe as well as an air traffic update.
 

The Finnish air force has posted several photos online, illustrating the damage volcanic ash could have on an airplane’s engine. There are also explanations from numerous web users like this video blogger who says here that ash and other fragments that form the cloud could block the engines and are therefore a real threat to planes.

Meanwhile, many amateur video directors have immortalized the moment the ash cloud passed over them. Several videos are available on sharing sites, on which we see the cloud very clearly, as well as its spectacular greyish colour.
 

The cloud spreads out over several kilometers and you can follow its journey online thanks to satellite pictures taken by NASA, available to view notably on Google earth. And on the web site of the Norwegian newspaper Aften Posten there is an animation that demonstrates the speed at which the cloud is spreading across the European skies.

Some have managed to keep their sense of humour, despite the difficulties encountered in boarding a plane. A song has been written, relating the hell travellers are going through.
 

This web user wanted to share his frustration online. He has created a little cartoon to recount his trip and the difficulties he faced in getting back home to Dublin.
 

A VOLCANO UNDER SURVEILLANCE

Whilst the blogosphere is wondering about the economic consequences the volcanic ash cloud will have on air traffic in Europe, as well as the ecological impact, web users are also riveted by the volcano which has caused all these disruptions.

Several web cams have been installed nearby so people all over the world can monitor this volcano’s activity in real time.

A seismologist has created this animation using regularly updated data posted online by Iceland’s meteorological office. It lists all the tremors measured in the region over the past few weeks, a multitude of very weak earthquakes that are a sign of intense volcanic activity.

And there is passionate debate at the heart of the scientific community. On this blog, dedicated to volcanism, an expert states that this phase of eruption could continue for another 2 years. And according to him, the neighboring volcano Katla, which is five times as big and hence much more destructive, could also wake up one day.
 

And the active volcano is providing Icelanders with spectacular displays, as we see in this video of the flooding caused by the eruption under a glacier.
 

And some have done what they can to protect themselves from the ash cloud. The tiniest particles could in fact provoke respiratory problems.
 

Armed with their cameras, numerous residents of the region have gone to the volcano’s surrounding area to make the most of this captivating spectacle. Pushed by the wind, the ash cloud spread over Europe and spared Iceland. The weather is great and looks set to stay that way. Certain Icelanders have been able to make the most of their weekend, whilst these past few days have been hellish for many travellers in other parts of the world.

HOW TO SAY EYJAFJALLAJOKULL

In this piece of editing Icelandic web users are making fun of foreign journalists; It’s a compilation of all the mispronunciations or alterations of the name of the volcano from which the ash cloud has come.
 

 

By FRANCE 24

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