TWO HUNDRED years since a huge volcanic eruption turned Europe’s summer into winter – forcing people to eat cats and dogs in the street to stay alive – experts have warned mankind is NOT prepared for a similar event THIS century.
The deadly eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia sparked what was known as the ‘Year Without Summer’ in 1815 as crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere – causing the worst famine for hundreds of years.
However, academics have warned that the chances of a similar disaster happening in the next 85 years, which could see the Earth flung back into a “pre-civilisation state”, was estimated to be as high as one in 10.
The last time an Icelandic volcano made headlines around the world was when the tongue-twister Eyjafjallajökull spewed tons of ash into the air in 2010, halting thousands of flights and costing airlines and passengers more than $7 billion in lost revenue.
Despite the power and global impact of that volcano’s several-week-long eruption, it barely affected Iceland, dropping only a small amount of ash near its peak, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a geophysics and volcanology researcher at the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences told Newsweek during an interview at his office in Reykjavik at the beginning of October.
But Eyjafjallajökull is paltry compared to the recent eruption of Bardarbunga (or Bárðarbunga in Icelandic), a volcano in a remote area of central Iceland that began venting lava and fumes in earnest on August 31, Sigmundsson said. Continue reading
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland raised its aviation alert to red Saturday as a subglacial eruption began at the restless Bardarbunga volcano, which has been rattled by thousands of earthquakes in the past week, the country’s Meteorological Office said.
Seismic data indicated that lava from the volcano was melting ice beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, Iceland’s largest, Met Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said.
The eruption led Iceland to raise its aviation alert level to red, indicating an eruption that could cause “significant emission of ash into the atmosphere.” Red is the highest alert warning on a five-point scale. Continue reading
Scientists detected about 300 earthquakes in the area around the Bardarbunga volcano since Tuesday, which could herald an eruption.
The volcano, in the north-west region of Iceland’s Vatnajokull glacier, could be set to spew out a huge ash cloud.
It said: “It cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity in Bardarbunga could lead to a volcanic eruption.”