Tremors in the earth have been reported by Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips around Iceland’s Katla volcano which have started to make some experts believe that the colossal volcano is nearing eruption which could potentially disrupt air travel in many parts of the world as well as produce floods in Iceland due to the melting of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier under which the volcano sits.
Remember Eyjafjallajökull? The Icelandic volcano that was hilariously mispronounced by every non-Icelandic news reporter but wreaked grim havoc with airlines and airports?
Well, Katla, the more bigger (its magma chamber is easily ten times bigger than the one in Eyjafjallajökull) and easily pronounceable volcano supposedly named after an evil, mythological troll, could produce such disruptive havoc on a bigger scale..funnily enough, in a similar manner to an Internet troll.
When Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010, many were worried that Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption could trigger either the biggest Icelandic volcano (Katla) or the stratovolcano Hekla to erupt. That year, neither erupted.
However as 2010 turned into 2011, many monitoring the Katla volcano worried that, due to the historical tendency of Katla volcano erupting following a Eyjafjallajökull eruption and the fact it historically occurred almost every 50 years, the question of the biggest volcano in Iceland erupting is a matter of “when” and not “if”.
In 2011, there was an increase in the strength of the earthquakes occurring underneath Katla, the strongest being a 4.1 on the Richter scale.
Though the seismic data and other observations gave no indication of an exact date or time of an eruption, scientists say that there is no need for alarm while also saying in the same breath that the situation could change “abruptly”.
And now, the situation could very well change “abruptly”.
Other scientists are arguing that Katla’s behavior is unpredictable and erratic, which makes it difficult to ascertain if the eruptions could be big, small or if the quakes underneath are just another phenomena.
The last major Katla eruption occurred in the year 1918. The eruption lasted over a month as plumes of ash actually blocked out the sun in the most affected areas. This introduced harsher winters and effectively killed off crops and even livestock due to the shortage of food.
If Katla is to erupt again in a similar manner, the eruption could lead to mass flooding and yet another disruption of air travels all over the world.