Life Journal

Volcanic Ash/Elections

Volcanic Ash/Elections

17/04/2010

Volcanic Ash/Elections

Interesting week, this one! A volcano erupted in Iceland causing all airplanes in most of Europe to be grounded… It started mid-week and since then the skies have been quiet. The sky is a beautiful blue today, without any of the usual straight white clouds zig zagging all over it.

The volcanic ash can bring planes down, and although we can’t see it, it’s there. This could go on for months, depending on how long this eruption continues. Some people are panic buying, fearing food shortages, but food can be delivered by boat/land, so the only food we may see a shortage off are out of season fruit/veg. No big deal. I’m going shopping later today, hope there’s food left!

Some snippets from news:
Restrictions on UK airspace have been extended until 0100 BST on Sunday, as the danger to planes from volcanic ash from Iceland persists.

Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been stranded in the UK and abroad by flight cancellations.

Unable to catch flights, many commuters across northern Europe have sought other means of transport, which has seen people filling trains, buses and ferries.

The no-fly zone also means some world leaders might have difficulty attending the funeral of the Polish president on Sunday. (Who died in a plane crash in Russia last week)

Experts say the tiny particles of rock, glass and sand contained in the ash cloud could jam aircraft engines, as has happened in previous incidents of planes flying into plumes of volcanic ash.

The last eruption of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano system that is creating the problems was on 20 March, when a 0.5km-long fissure opened up on the eastern side of the glacier at the Fimmvoerduhals Pass.

The eruption prior to that started in 1821 and continued intermittently for more than a year.

Hundreds of school children and many teachers are among those stranded overseas because of the volcanic ash drifting across Europe from Iceland.

Many schools run trips at Easter and have been hit by the flight bans.

In Hertfordshire alone, 352 children are stuck abroad on school trips in 11 different countries from Iceland to Hong Kong.

In Iceland:

Fresh flooding has hit areas around an erupting volcano in Iceland, prompting the second evacuation of local people in 48 hours.

About 700 people were evacuated to the small town of Hvolsvollur from isolated rural homes near the volcano, which is under the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier.

Flooding has cut the coastal road from the area to the capital Reykjavik, to the north-west.

A plume of ash has spread across northern Europe from the volcano.

Icelandic media report that the eruption is continuing, but there have been no earth tremors since Thursday evening.

The level of the glacial Markarfljot river – swollen with ice and mud – has risen, threatening a bridge.

Local people have been told to wear masks if the ash falls, Hannah Andrews, a dairy farmer near the volcano, told the BBC’s Europe Today programme. She said she had moved her cows indoors.
Map

According to Ms Christie, the risk is that livestock "breathe in the ash and it settles in their lungs and after a while they just cannot breathe, and die".

An on Thursday the FIRST EVER televised debate between prime ministerial candidates took place!  We watched it together.

An average TV audience of 9.4 million viewers tuned into the UK’s first prime ministerial debate on ITV1 on Thursday, according to early overnight figures.

At its peak, the showdown between Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was seen by 9.9 million.

Its lowest audience was 8.8m at the start of the debate at 2030 BST, and by the end was seen by 9.3m people.

Nearly 45,000 users watched the live stream video online.

Two further debates will be broadcast by Sky and the BBC over the next two weeks in the run-up to the general election on 6 May.

The historic debate was the most watched show of the day and had more viewers than the other four terrestrial channels combined at the time of its broadcast.

BBC One’s satirical panel show Have I Got News For You was shown at 2100 BST, pulling in 4.3 million viewers, a slight drop from its usual audience of five million.

The debate’s average audience share was 37%, with a high of 38.6% at 2100 BST, and a low of 36% at 2030.

Mr Clegg, Mr Cameron and Gordon Brown clashed over issues including tax, immigration and expenses during the debate.

Foreign affairs will be the focus of the next debate, to be shown on Sky One on 22 April.
That will be followed by a final debate on the economy, to be aired on BBC One on 29 April.

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