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Iceland Volcano Disaster

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The Irish Aviation Authority has announced it is to close sections of Ireland's eastern airspace from 12pm, which will result in the shutdown of operations at Dublin Airport.

Flight Information | Aer Lingus | Ryanair | AA Roadwatch

The decision has been made based on advice from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London.

It is understood that volcanic ash is now coming close to Ireland's airspace.

The Authority is to review the situation at 1pm as to whether to extend the closure of further Irish airspace.

The Dublin Airport Authority's Siobhan Moore told RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny that the event was 'extraordinary'.

She said it is up to individual airlines to decide if they take-off before noon.

Over 100 flights into and out of Ireland have been cancelled due to the problem.

The Dublin Airport Authority says 450 flights were scheduled to land and depart at Dublin Airport today. People intending to travel have been advised to check their airline's website.

In the UK, Heathrow and Stansted airports in London have said they are suspending all flights from noon because of the volcanic ash cloud which has drifted into British airspace from Iceland.

British Air Traffic Control closed airspace over northern Scotland and restricted travel in other areas, causing several UK airports to close.

In a BBC interview, Britain's National Air Traffic Service Director Paul Haskins said the volcanic eruption is still under way and that the situation is being constantly reviewed.

Ryanair has confirmed that this morning it will be unable to operate any services between Ireland, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Denmark or operate flights out of those countries.

The airline says up to 25,000 passengers have been affected by the disruption.

Aer Lingus has confirmed that there will be major disruption to its flights from Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Belfast and London Gatwick.

Aer Lingus is monitoring the progress of a situation and customers will be updated at regular intervals on the website.

Shannon Airport has said it is likely that it will be accommodating several diverted flights which cannot get into Britain or Northern Europe during the day.

All flights from Knock Airport to the UK have been put on hold until lunchtime, while all commercial flights at the City of Derry Airport have been grounded until further notice.

George Best Belfast City Airport remains closed this morning.

A spokesman for the airport said that, at this stage, it looks like it will be closed for the remainder of the day but that the situation will be constantly reviewed.

The problems with air travel have resulted in passengers looking to the sea to get to Britain and Europe.

Irish Ferries has reported an increase in bookings and has confirmed there is space on all sailings to the UK and France.

In Scotland, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports have been closed.

Iceland's second volcanic eruption in less than a month began under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in the south of the country at around 2am (Irish time).

Between 700 and 800 people were evacuated from their homes in the remote, lightly populated area 125km east of Reykjavík, as melted glacier water caused massive flooding.

Last month, the first eruption at the Eyjafjallajokull glacier since 1823 briefly forced 600 people from their homes in the same area.

SOURCE = www.rte.ie

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The volcano on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in southern Iceland began erupting just after midnight.

Smoke coming out of the top crater stacked more than 20,000ft into the sky, meteorologists said.

Icelandic public broadcaster RUV reported that a 500-metre fissure appeared at the top of the crater today.

Lava melted the glacier, causing major flooding which forced the evacuation of between 700 and 800 people from their homes in the remote, lightly populated area 125km east of Reykjavík.

'We have two heavy floods coming out from the melting of the Eyjafjallajokull glacier,' police spokesman Roegnvaldur Olafsson told AFP.

'It is very variable how long these eruptions last... Judging from the intensity of this one, it could last a long time,' Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, a professor of geophysics and civil protection advisor in Iceland, said.

Last month, the first eruption at the Eyjafjallajokull glacier since 1823 briefly forced 600 people from their homes in the same area.

Icelandic airports today remain open as wind blows ash away from the island.

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