REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled domestic flights Sunday due to a powerful volcanic eruption.
Airport and air traffic control operator ISAVIA said Keflavik airport, the country’s main hub, was closed at 0830GMT (4:30 a.m. EDT), and would stay shut for the rest of the day.
In April 2010, officials closed the continent’s air space for five days,fearing the ash could harm jet engines.Some 10 million travelers were stranded.
The Grimsvotn volcano, which lies under the uninhabited Vatnajokull glacierabout 120 miles (200 kilometers) east of the capital, Reykjavik, began erupting Saturday for the first time since 2004. Grimsvotn also erupted in 1998, 1996 and 1993. The eruptions have lasted between a day and several weeks.
University of Iceland geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson said this eruption, which began Saturday, was Grimsvotn’s largest eruption for 100 years.
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