Europe Safe from Iceland Volcano Ash, at Least for 24 Hours

 @ibtimes on May 22 2011 5:30 PM

European airspace has not been affected by the eruption of Iceland's most active volcano, Grimsvotn.

There is currently no impact on European or transatlantic flights and the situation is expected to remain so for the next 24 hours, Eurocontrol said in a statement.

Aircraft operators were being informed of the evolving situation.

The eruption began at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Icelandic Met(eorological) Office. The plume initially reached approximately 20 kilometers in altitude. Early Sunday, the height varied from between 10 kilometers and 15 kilometers.

Lightning activity in the area around the volcano was much more intense - about 1000 times more - than during the Eyjafjallajokull Eruption.

The Grimsvotn's last eruption was in 2004, according to IMO.

The ash is not expected to impact aviation in Europe, at least not during the first 24 hours, IMO said when the volcano first erupted.

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