Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Iceland volcano sends new tremors, lower ash cloud

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) – The erupting volcano in Iceland sent new tremors on Monday, but the ash plume which has caused air traffic chaos across Europe has dropped to a height of about 2 km (1.2 miles), the Meteorological Office said.

Ash production had fallen and Iceland's coast guard and scientists prepared to fly over the volcano in search of signs its crater was now producing lava, which could indicate the nature of the eruption was changing.

"The situation is definitely better than it was particularly on Saturday, which was a difficult day for us due to heavy ash fall just south of the volcano," said Urdur Gudmundsdottir, a spokeswoman at the foreign ministry.

The appearance of lava could suggest the eruption was moving into a less explosive phase, possibly a good sign for thousands of travelers who have been stranded at airport across Europe for the past five days because countries have closed their airspace over safety fears.
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