April 24, 2010 — Scientists in Iceland say the volcanic eruption that halted air traffic around the world last week appears to be stable.
An erupting volcano in Iceland was spewing far less ash on Friday and the plume of smoke was low.
At a news briefing at the Civil Protection headquarters, scientists said they believe the eruption is stable.
“The eruption seems to be very stable, the tremor plot is showing kind of very stable plot,” says geophysicist Steinunn S. Thorarinsdottir.
The volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier has been erupting over a week. Huge ash clouds led to European air traffic being grounded. However, European airspace is now almost completely free of volcanic ash. All British airspace is relatively back to normal as four small airports in Scotland have officially reopened.
Still, for the first time since the eruption on April 14th, Iceland's main international airport was forced to shut it's runways down because of shifting winds that blew the ash cloud into the capital of Reykjavik.
The airspace closures were estimated to have cost the airline industry more than two billion dollars.
They're not totally in the clear however. There's still a chance that the ash could still blow over to Europe.
“The wind is still westerly, blowing the ash towards Europe, but the ash cloud is seldom going above three kilometres.”
At the volcano, huge clouds of smoke continued to pump into the air and water gushed down the side of the glacier. There are also still strong tremors, which could indicate a build-up of lava or molten rock within the crater.
For more on this story, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Our newscast comes up at :12 and :42 minutes past each hour.