Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
As if they didn’t have enough to think about, planners trying to pin down the unintended consequences of a strike on Iran may be required to reorder their lengthy worry list.
The concern? Iceland’s volcano, or rather, the vivid reminder the exploding mountain provided to governments of the importance of civil emergency planning.
The ash clouds and the flight chaos it produced may be a foretaste, writ large, of the disruption to daily life in the Gulf that could temporarily result from military conflict and its aftermath in the area, some analysts say.
The Kuwait oil fires of the 1990-91 Gulf conflict provide an example of the confusion and damage that can result from smoke and pollution, quite apart from the popular anxiety caused by war itself, write Riad Kahwaji and Theodore Karasik of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.
In January, 1991, Iraqi forces torched hundreds of Kuwaiti oil fields, creating clouds of heavy smoke across the northern Gulf in the last moments of the conflict. Saddam Hussein’s action was mainly political, not military: in what Kuwaitis perceived as a monumental act of spite, he was laying waste to an asset he was forced to relinquish.
A travel-affected European Parliament session on Tuesday turned into a forum for bashing the EU and other European authorities over the response to the crisis.
from The Great Debate UK:
- Joris Melkert, MSc BBA, is assistant professor in aerospace engineering at the Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Despite the announcement that air space could begin to re-open in Northern Europe, the Icelandic volcano eruption could prove to be a major turning point for the global airline industry with short- to medium-term questions already being asked by some about its future financial viability.
from UK News:
* 1600 euros the quoted fare for taxi from Barcelona to Perpignan
* Train from Perpignan cancelled, but we blag our way on to Paris-bound service
* Chaos in Calais
Original post: “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake!”
That quote from "Withnail and I" has been rattling around my brain for the last few days as I’ve looked for a way to complete the 2,000 kilometres (1,243 miles) or so from the small town I’ve been staying in south of Valencia, Spain, and my home in London.
I’ve spent most of the last 72 hours on the internet, searching in vain for reasonably priced car hire, bus, train and ferry tickets.
How do you get from Helsinki to Milan when the whole of the airspace in northern Europe is closed?
Well, I did it and what’s more – most of the journey was done by plane.
from The Great Debate UK:
- Dr Andrew Hooper is an Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology and is an expert on monitoring deformation of Icelandic volcanoes. The opinions expressed are his own. -
The unprecedented no-fly zone currently in force across much of Europe has already caused the greatest chaos to air travel since the Second World War. Thousands of flights have been cancelled or postponed with millions of travel plans affected.
You’re having breakfast and the earth starts to shudder. Outside, a column of volcanic ash soars miles into the air. Is this the big one that sends millions of tonnes of ash and molten rock crashing down to vaporize what is left of a volcano-ravaged town?
With Chile’s Chaiten volcano in deepest Patagonia still erupting 9 months after stirring to life for the first time in thousands of years, ripping a hole through the middle of the picturesque town in its shadow, residents like mechanic Cesar Barria Umanzor are running the gauntlet daily.
Looking at the devastation wrought by the volcano when it erupted last May sending ash 20 miles (32 km) into the stratosphere, you don’t have to be a volcano expert to realize the town is a write-off — especially given true experts warn the volcano’s cone could continue to collapse as it did last month, potentially smothering the remains of the town.
With the volcano 6 miles (10 km) from the town, residents reckon they would have around 7 minutes to get out of the way if there is a major eruption. But where to? With the road out in places, that leaves jumping into the sea or a scramble uphill along a scree track.
Houses swept off their foundations as a torrent of ash redrew the course of a river last year lie buried up to their rafters in debris at haphazard angles. Children’s toys are strewn abandoned in the dirt months on.
The government has decided to move the town wholesale 6 miles up the road. But not everyone will move.
“I’m not afraid. I want to stay here. I built this house from scratch. I started out with one nail, denied my kids candy when they were young to pay for it, and now the government just want me to walk away? Well I won’t,” Umanzor said.
He and his family are among a few dozen die-hard residents who vow to stay put, despite the fact there is no running water and no electricity.
With no cars to fix, Umanzor is instead using his time to work on energy self-sufficiency. He has a diesel generator, but the authorities will only give fuel to emergency services.
So he has connected a series of tractor batteries to a transformer to generate current and is now using hoses to connect a homemade water-wheel to a nearby stream to recharge them. Those batteries kept my laptop going. To read more, click on http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN26229857