This closing-the-airports-because-of-the -volcano, for the fifth day now, is getting to be too much for a lot of travelers and now, for the British government.
That’s why, says this article, “Royal Navy ships may be joined by commandeered civilian vessels to bring home British citizens, who have now been stuck since last Thursday across Europe and around the world.
It is possible that Spain, which is largely unaffected by the giant ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano, allowing aircraft to fly in its air space, may be used as the “hub” of the operation for people who are stranded outside Europe, principally in Africa and North America.”
And, as long as we’re all focused on volcanoes, take a look at this round-up of volcano images and information from around the world, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, including this stereograph labeled “Gazing through sulphurous vapors into the crater’s frightful depths Aso-San, Japan. 1904 or earlier.”
The Smithsonian archivist who gathered up these images notes that there is descriptive text on the back of the stereograph that includes this passage:
“You are in the province of Higo on the island of Kyushu, near the southwestern end of the Mikado’s island empire. This is the largest active volcano in the world. You come over from Kumamoto and get coolie guides like these bare-legged fellows, to show you the way up here to the rim of the crater. It is like the open door of the infernal regions. Those vapors are sulphur smoke and scalding steam; if you were to wait awhile, great tongues of fiery flame might very likely shoot up, lapping with hideous suggestiveness these very lips of volcanic rock on which you are dizzily perched. Horrid cracklings and roarings rise continually out of that bottomless pit into which the men are peering – there are sounds of ooiling and bubblings as of the Evil One’s own caldron, and every little while the crash of a thunderous explosion fills all this upper air.”