Second Icelandic Ash Cloud Looms Over Britain

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Photo: Arni Saeberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just when you thought you couldn't get enough of planet-darkening, Europe-stultifying volcano Eyjafjallajökull, it surprises you with an encore: The Icelandic peak emitted a second massive cloud of ash yesterday. The event was not nearly as large in scale as the one that initially shut down air travel across Europe on April 15. But the southward-drifting cloud of detritus was big enough to shut down airports in Britain, where air travel had been just tentatively beginning again after five days of precautionary grounding of all flights. Meanwhile, airports in Southern and Eastern Europe have begun to open and are slowly and inconsistently beginning to transport a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of people whose travel plans were interrupted by Eyjafjallajökull's eruption. Spain and Italy have become major travel hubs because their skies are clear of ash at the moment, and to travel northward or along the coast, one must rely on other modes of transportation. You know who is laughing today, for the first time in half a century? Boats.

As Europe Reopens Skies, a New Cloud Looms [NYT]
Update: PS - The cloud touched North America! Aaaah!