Viewing post #665850 by rannveig

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May 23, 2011 6:21 AM CST
Name: Rannveig
Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Sally - I can't imagine it either. Last night when the cloud was here it was very irritating to my eyes and nose and I only stayed outside for a short while. And it wasn't really that thick - visibility was normal. We closed all windows last night so it didn't bother us at all in the house - now the wind's changed, it's blowing from the north so the ash cloud is gone. But it's bad news for those south of the eruption. It's pitch black there again and with the wind it's like a black blizzard. You can't go out at all. It's impossible to drive in, except in those specially equipped vehicles the rescue crews have.

To give you some perspective, the hight of the plume is now half of what it was Saturday night - it's now around 10 km high, it reached 20 km .... and it's still taller than the one from Eyjafjallajökull at it's highest. The amount of ash is so enourmous that a huge area is engulfed in the ash cloud - you can't see the volcano or get anywhere close to it. If there'd been a flood no one would have seen it.

We're really getting a taste of what living on a volcanic island entails .... for my generation and younger it's an eyeopener ... we've read about the big eruptions in our history books but the ones that have happened in our lifetime have all been small and without much effect on people. Until last year. And that was a relatively small eruption .... this one is BIG. It's up there with the big Katla and Hekla eruptions ...... which by the way are both expected to blow in the near future. Hekla's been "ready" for almost two years .... Historically, most eruptions in Grímsvötn have been short, the last few only lasted a few days so we're hoping this one will be shortlived as well.

A video from around 10 am this morning in Kirkjubæjaklaustur - it's still dark there now at noon. It's like a ghost town, but the grocery store is open. The storeowner said he'd had one customer at the time of the interview and was using the peace and quiet to catch up on tasks he hadn't had time for.


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