As if things weren’t bad enough for the travel the airline business but a volcano in Iceland decided to wake up after almost two hundred years and spew ash over a broad swathe of the Atlantic Ocean and Europe.
The result was chaos and a level of transatlantic flight cancellations not seen since the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It wasn’t going to be an easy summer for the Atlantic air carriers linking the U.S. and Ireland so this spring surprise is about as welcome as a, well, ash-spewing volcano.
It’s been an active few months for natural disasters around our increasingly crowded planet. Earthquakes have wreaked havoc and devastation in Haiti, Chile and China to name but three places stricken by the back of nature’s hand.
Ordinarily, Ireland doesn’t have to consider earthquakes and volcanoes, but in the case of the Icelandic eruption it was the prevailing wind that drew in an ash cloud that grounded planes on the island, in next door Britain, and on the European mainland.
What next, a plague of high-flying locusts, invaders from outer space?
Experts will say that there is actually no particular increase in the frequency of dangerous and damaging natural occurrences, it’s just that they get reported to a worldwide audience in jig time.
Maybe so, but that’s cold comfort to many people who are lately feeling that they are playing bit parts in the real life versions of Hollywood disaster movies.
We can only hope for a bit of a break now: no earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes and all the rest of our world’s rogue’s gallery of natural disasters.
But better not to hold one’s breath. Something’s always going to happen next.