by Graham Pierrepoint
Volcanoes have been the infamous cause of several a flight delay over the past decade – and while many may not know how to pronounce their names, a fair few will know the hassle that their majesty have brought upon connections to Europe and beyond. We’re talking about Iceland’s volcanic region, and one of their most famous dormant giants – Oraefajokull – which has been sitting dormant for almost 300 years – and it’s re-emerged in the news again this week despite the fact that it’s largely been taking something of a deep sleep over the past few decades. That, if certain scientists and researchers are to be believed, could be set to change – bringing its potential eruption in line with the colossal volcano lying dormant beneath Yellowstone – which could technically go off at any minute, causing untold chaos.
▶ The Largest Volcano In Iceland Is On The Brink Of A Violent Eruption
It’s thought that a deepening hole in the volcano’s snow – we of course are referring back to Iceland’s sleeping giant – is pointing towards the potential for an eruption in the near future. Additional seismic shifts and geothermal activity in the area may also hold the key to the future of the volcano – with local experts growing increasingly concerned that the giant could be due to erupt at any time. Armann Hoskuldsson, a volcanologist, advised that business is far from normal in the area – with 160 earthquakes having been recorded by Icelandic Met Office in just the last week. “The geothermal energy is still present and it shows that it is far from a normal process there,” Hoskuldsson states.
If the volcano erupts, it will likely spell similar chaos to that experienced by travellers back in 2010 – when Eyjafjallajokull erupted, rendering cross-Atlantic flights to and from the continent all but out of the question. The state has increased the warning level for volcanic activity for ‘yellow’, meaning that significant data points to the potential for eruption in future. The volcano’s even
tual explosion may be an historic event – it hasn’t let off steam or lava since 1728 – but it could mean that commuters and holidaymakers face considerable delays and cancellations in the months to come. For those living near the volcano, on islands adjacent to the giant, evacuation plans are being drafted – meaning that Iceland is taking matters incredibly seriously. Will we see a repeat of 2010’s travel delays? Keep cautious and follow the news – as always – if you’re set to travel soon!
Alternatively, just for a moment, enjoy some underwater footage of the Silfra Lagoon in Iceland which boasts some of the clearest water in the world:
▶ The Secret of Silfra | Incredible Diving Footage from Iceland's Crystal Clear Lagoon