Ash Fall Closes Schools in South Iceland

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Ash Fall Closes Schools in South Iceland

South Iceland has been subject to extensive ash fall because of the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull glacier since last night and schools have therefore been canceled in Vík today.

The ash fall during the first days of the eruption. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The Environment Agency of Iceland warns that the level of air pollution is above the health protection limit—last night it was higher than ever measured in Iceland before—so people living in areas subject to ash fall are asked to stay inside, visir.is reports.

If it is absolutely necessary for people to go outside into the ash fall they are asked to use dust masks and protective goggles. Inhabitants of Vík are also encouraged to seal their doors and windows.

The eruption was stable last night and there are no indications of it winding down. Six airports on the western coast of Ireland will be closed at least until noon today because of ash particles being carried into the Irish airspace.

“It has been dark underneath the Eyjafjöll mountains,” commented Vídir Reynisson of the Civil Protection Department to Fréttabladid yesterday.

However, the ash fall is not as severe as it was during the first days of the eruption, Reynisson said. “But everything goes gray and dirty, including the areas that had already been cleaned.”

In an evaluation published by the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Science yesterday, the eruption has changed. Lava has stopped flowing and most of the magma has been fragmentized in a powerful phreatic eruption.

Continued ash fall is predicted and the Civil Protection Department is monitoring the situation closely.

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