Ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano has spewed 25,000 to 30,000 feet into the air and drifted westward, causing the airspace in the United Kingdom and several European countries to be closed. When the volcano initially erupted on March 20, following dormancy of more than 200 years, it release mostly lava and fire.
This time the volcano spewed ash, resulting in the cancellation of thousands of flights. Volcanic ash includes small particles of glass, sand and rock and could jam airplane engines. The BBC reports that more than 17,000 flights will be canceled on Friday.
When the volcano erupted in 1783, it spewed lava and poisonous gas, killing livestock and causing famine. It also changed the weather patterns for the upcoming year, resulting in famine as far away as Egypt and in the Mississippi freezing in New Orleans.
The eruption disrupted the weather, devastating agriculture and transportation, and helped trigger the French Revolution.
The volcano eruption of 1783 continued for eight long months. Benjamin Franklin noted a constant fog over much of the United States.
Stranded travelers and disrupted economies are immediate results of the 2010 volcanic eruption.