The volcano above the Vatnaokull glacier erupted in Iceland on Saturday, May 21 throwing up clouds of ash and smoke in the sky, along with a series of earthquakes. This volcano eruption has been reported to be more intense than the one in 2004.
The clouds from the Grimsvotn volcano have covered 20km of airspace around the place of eruption. Authorities have banned flights close to the volcano and the aviation officials are closely monitoring the European airspace. Spokesman for the Isavia civil aviation authority, Hjordis Gudmunsdottir said, “We have closed the area until we know what effect the ash will have.” Authorities have reported that the locals living nearby are safe and there is no need for evacuation, although it is expected that the volcano could erupt for several more days.
Last year, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted which caused danger as its ashes stayed suspended in the air, and didn’t come down quickly to the ground. This is not the case with the Grimsvotn volcano. The previous records of Grimsvotn volcanic eruptions have shown that it has not caused much impact on air traffic. Meteorologists said the prevailing winds were expected to blow the volcanic ash in a generally westward direction in the coming week.
The disruption caused in air flights last year due to smoke is comparatively less this time. Glaciologists in Iceland have said that the eruption should not have much severe effects. Scientists had been expecting this eruption to take place and said that this would likely be small and will not cause chaos in air traffic.
Over the past 800 years, about 60 volcanic eruptions have taken place in Grimsvotn. The history of these eruptions state that previous eruptions have been relatively small and have not posed any threat to the population. It is located under an unpopulated icecap in southeast Iceland.
Believers of Harold's predictions fear that Camping might be correct this time and this volcanic eruption might as well be the start of the end of the world. Although he predicted an earthquake in New Zealand on 21st May to be the beginning of the end of the world - it did not happen and instead, the timing of the eruption of the volcano coincided with the Rapture deadline of 6 pm. Despite this, no major panic has been reported after authorities gave assurance that there is no major threat to the population.