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About a year ago, the world witnessed a majestic eruption from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano - the ashes from which disrupted European air travel for weeks and caused chaos all over the world. On Saturday, the world watched fearfully, as a similar scenario began to unfold at another one of the country's many active volcanoes.
The eruption, which occurred at the country's most active Grimsvotn volcano was not totally unexpected and while it is the crater's largest explosion in 100 years, scientists believe that it will not cause the same disruption as the one last year, for numerous reasons.
Because the initial spew was huge, one that sent a plume of ash, 20km into the sky and blasted out over a 100 times more material per second that what came out from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, experts believe the worst is over. Also, the ashes are much heavier and are falling to Earth rapidly, instead of drifting around, as had been the case with the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.
Having said that, Iceland's airport has been shut down and the residents of Iceland's capital Reykjavik have been advised to wear masks and stay indoors. Also, if wind patterns in Europe change, than the residents may encounter a situation similar to last year. All everybody can do is to wait and see, how the situation unfolds in the next few days.
Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions about 20 million years ago, Iceland is home to 130 volcanic mountains. While only 18 of them have been active since it was first inhabited, they are responsible for spewing out a third of the world's total lava output. The good news is that since the Grimsvotn volcano lies in a remote uninhabited area under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland, nobody was injured and we sure hope it remains that way.
Resources: telegraph.co.uk, guardian.co.uk