Madrid-Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain
Chaos! Most of northern Europe brought to a virtual standstill, millions of people stranded all over the world, 64,000 flights cancelled (according to Russia Today), huge losses to the airlines ($200 million a day), and airports ($184 million as of Sunday), fruit, vegetables, and flowers rotting all over Africa, Asia and Brazil, no way to airlift medicines, bone marrow transplant operations cancelled, and on and on… At 10pm on Monday April 19, 2010 a google search on the volcano listed 15,114 news articles.
Apart from some flooding and a few farm evacuations, Iceland emerged relatively unscathed. The area affected by the ash is a small, sparsely populated farmland to the east of the volcano.
“This is a disruption, not a catastrophe,” said Urdur Gannarsdottir from the Iceland civil protection department.
My nephew K, who was in Los Angeles “on a business trip” ended up becoming a British statistic: one of the 400,000 stranded Brits not able to get back home. As much as he loved us, the lovely meals, great music (more on that in another post), and the mahvellous L.A. weather, he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. Last night he lucked into a seat on the first British Airways flight from LAX to London, “one of a handful of planes allowed to land at Heathrow Airport.”
one of the many jokes: “Iceland owed England cash, but there’s no ‘c’ in the Icelandic language, so they sent ash instead.”