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12th Oct 2020

Icelandic volcano that caused havoc in 2011 could erupt again, experts say

Scientists have warned that Grímsvötn, the infamous Icelandic volcano which erupted in 2011 could erupt again. Increased seismic activity has been noted

Alex Roberts

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse

Scientists have warned that the infamous Icelandic volcano which erupted in 2011 could erupt again. The 2011 eruption caused mass disruption across Europe, cancelling hundreds of flights across the continent.

Grímsvötn erupted in 2011, throwing a gigantic ash cloud up into the skies. This led to the grounding of around 900 flights. It was the largest volcanic eruption in Iceland for 50 years.

Now, scientists say the same warning signs are there.

Writing in academic journal The Conversation, the University of Lancaster’s Dave Garvie said: “Increasing thermal activity has been melting more ice and there has also been a recent increase in earthquake activity.

“Ash clouds therefore only travel a few tens of kilometres from the eruption site.

“This is a good scenario for Icelanders and also for air travel, as it prevents the formation of substantial ash clouds that could drift around and close off airspace.”

However, should a full-scale eruption occur – you can expect air travel to be hugely disrupted.

Seismic activity has been observed around Grímsvötn, which last erupted in 2011. (Photo by Jon Magnusson/Getty Images)

Grímsvötn isn’t the only Icelandic volcano to cause huge disruption in Europe. Back in 2011, Eyjafjallajökull also caused havoc, and grounded 100,000 flights.

Eyjafjallajökull also altered the career path of one of the world’s greatest footballers.

Back in 2010, a young Robert Lewandowksi was banging them in left, right and centre for Lech Poznan in his native Poland.

He was earmarked for a move to the Premier League. His potential match? Blackburn Rovers, then under the leadership of big Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce has said that he had agreed a move with Lewandowski’s representatives, but these went up in smoke – or an ash cloud, to be precise.

The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull put pay to Lewandowski’s move to Blackburn.

He instead had to settle for a German team by the name of Borussia Dortmund and, well – who knows what he could have become.