One of the known volcanoes in Iceland, the Eyjafjallajökull, had left a mark in the environment, tourism, and most especially in the economies of Europe and other parts of Asia and Africa when it erupted in April 2010.
Eyjafjallajökull is one of Iceland’s ice caps that can be found in the southern part of it. It is covering the volcano with the height of 5,466 ft. The volcano has remained dormant since its frequent eruptions during the last ice age.
The seismic activity of the volcano started towards the end of 2009 and has increased towards March and finally on April of 2010. The eruption is considered small compared to other volcanoes. However, it is still one of momentous events in Iceland and in Europe as it disrupts activities not just in the local level but in other countries as well.
The volcano’s first eruption in March 2010 is considered to be localized. At that time, lava is released just a few meters up in the air. It was considered to be a small eruption, one that could be considered as an ‘effusive eruption.’
However, in April 2010, the volcano released glass-rich ash into the air but this time, around 8 km in height. It was during this stage that the volcano is considered to be in ‘explosive eruption’ stage. Effects of the event were immediately felt, especially by those who are relying on air travel for business.
One of the main things that had been affected by this event is air travel. Generally, air travel is being affected by any volcano eruption for two reasons: (1) smoke and ash from the volcano greatly reduce the visibility of visual navigation and (2) the debris found in the ash are real threat to the windscreens (could sandblast them) and the aircraft engines (could melt them).
In 2010, when one of Iceland’s volcanoes erupted, trade relying to air travel was affected greatly. Around 100,000 travelers were affected, tour packages were cancelled, and though ‘volcano tourism’ rose up, the negative effects of the eruption to the tourism sector are something that cannot be denied of.
Other than tourism, another sector that has been greatly affected by this event is the economy. Because air travel has been suspended due to difficult navigation in the air, businesses that rely greatly on air travel suffered. There were shortages of imported products like flowers, food, medicine, fruits, and electronic hardware. What was more troublesome were its effects on other countries.
In Africa, particularly in Kenya, around 400 tonnes of flowers were destroyed due to the inability to transport them to UK on April 2010. As a result, both the flower and vegetable industry of the region lost over $100,000. What’s more, some of the employees were temporarily laid off.
In Asia, a known car company Nissan has declared the suspension of the making of specific car models because of its lack of supplies of parts which are believed to be imported from Europe.
While there were negative effects on other countries, there were also those who benefited from it. The fish industry of New Zealand was able to boost its sales on its salmon as orders increased when Norway couldn’t export its salmon due to the event.
Some events in Europe were suspended due to the volcano eruption. Sporting, entertainment, and even the way the royal families traveled (opted for rail or car) were altered due to the event.
The eruption was declared to have ended in October 2010. This was during the time when it was observed that the glaciers were no longer melting.