Sunday, April 25, 2010

Iceland volcano: eruption 'could just be rehearsal' for worse ash chaos if Katla blows

On the first official day of Icelandic summer, a bitter sub-zero wind whipped newly-fallen snow across the majestic mountain glacier that enveloped the crater of the Katla volcano.

The solitude and serenity was disturbed only by the rumbles from its cloud-shrouded and now notorious neighbour Eyjafjallajökull, whose violent eruptions paralysed international air travel for a remarkable week.

Fuelling those concerns concerns, Katla, named after a vindictive troll from Viking folklore, has also exploded in the wake of previous eruptions at Eyjafjallajökull. When it last unleashed its fury and ferocity in 1918, glacial floods swept down from the mountain and ash clouds turned day to pitch dark - but the commercial aviation business had of course not been born then.