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Eritrean volcanic ash likely to affect int'l flights

June 13, 2011 16:59

Ash from ongoing eruption set off by a series of earthquakes likely to reach Israel's southern border, possibly as far as Beersheba.

The cloud from Chile's volcano

Chile volcano cloud 311 (R). (photo credit:Reuters)

Ash from a volcanic eruption in Eritrea is likely to reach Israel’s southern border and possibly as far as Beersheba by Tuesday morning, the Israel Meteorological Service said on Monday night.

Egypt, southern Jordan and Saudi Arabia are expected to be affected more severely.

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A volcano – suspected to be either Dubbi or Nabro – erupted in the northeastern African country on Sunday night at 9, according to the Toulouse regional office of the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center.

The volcanic eruption was reportedly set off by a series of earthquakes, and occurred only a week after the Cordon Caulle volcano erupted in Chile, causing a multitude of flight cancellations in airports from South America to New Zealand.

“[The Advisory Center] confirmed that a plume of ash will get to the border of Israel at a height of 35,000 to 45,000 feet,” Evgeny Brainin, a forecaster for the Israel Meteorological Service, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday evening.

“It will arrive tonight and continue through tomorrow morning. It will get to southern borders of Israel and actually to Beersheba probably.

We still don’t know the concentration of the ash,” he said.

In Brainin’s opinion, the ash is more likely to cause the cancellation of international flights that fly southward over Israel rather than domestic flights to Eilat, given the high location of the ash, as domestic flights fly far under that path at about 13,000 feet, he explained.

The effects that Israel should expect from the spread of the ash are still unclear, however, and it is impossible to forecast what exactly “it will cause and what we will actually feel,” Brainin said.

“It’s a real-time prediction because we cannot predict when the eruption will stop or if it will continue,” he said.
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