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Volcanic ash cloud: Where is it now?

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is now drifting over Africa as well as Europe, closing airports and causing cancellations of transatlantic flights to the United States.

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Between 20,000 and 35,000 feet there are three smaller ash clouds: one southwest of Ireland, one west of Morocco, and one directly over Spain and France.

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Britain’s MET office is also mapping updates on the drifting ash cloud.

The current ash cloud affecting Europe was likely spewed weeks ago from the volcano. According to the Associated Press, the ash now drifting over Europe and Africa is left over from previous weeks and could remain in the atmosphere for weeks.

"We really don't know when it will settle down. So even if the volcano stops, we can look at this problem for a couple of weeks after," Bjoern Oddsson of the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland, told the Associated Press.

A series of 40 earthquakes emanated from the volcano Monday morning, according to the daily report from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland. This indicates that magma is still flowing in from the mantle.

"Presently there are no indications that the eruption is about to end," the agency said.

On Monday, the volcano was emitting about 50 tons of ash every second, down from 300 to 400 tons of ash per second last week, according to Agence France-Presse.

The six-day shutdown in April cost the European airline industry an estimated $1.7 billion, according to a report from the International Air Transport Association. Airline stocks have tumbled because of the affect on flights. The volcano has already cost EasyJet up to $110 million in losses. Stocks of EasyJet, Aer Lingus, and Ryanair all declined Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

IN PICTURES: Iceland volcano



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