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Ash shuts northern Italy

[ 2010-05-10 12:35]     字号 [] [] []  
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Italy closed a large part of its airspace in the northern part of the country for much of the day on Sunday to counter the risk posed by volcanic ash coming from Iceland, the civil aviation authority ENAC said.

The closure did not affect the airspace in the eastern part of northern Italy, and the airports of Venice, Trieste and Rimini remained open.

Eurocontrol says it expects further flight disruptions in European airspace as a plume of volcanic ash snakes through southern France, Switzerland and northern Italy.

By Sunday evening (Europe time), the plume was forecast to cover southern parts of Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria. Separately, a finger of the main ash cloud - centered in the mid-Atlantic at altitudes of up to 35,000 feet (10,500 meters) - has reached down to Portugal and Spain, closing airports at Porto, La Coruna, Vigo and Santiago.

Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency that coordinates air traffic control centers throughout the continent, said trans-Atlantic flights will continue to be diverted northward over Greenland to avoid the cloud stretching from Iceland to the Azores Islands.

It warned airlines to plan taking on more fuel for the longer flight around the oceanic no-fly zone.

Several Spanish airports in northern Spain, including Barcelona, reopened on Sunday after being shut down on Saturday as a precaution against the ash cloud. The government has warned that Spanish airspace could be hit again in the coming week, depending on the trajectory of the ash cloud.

Ireland prepared to impose restrictions to traffic at western airports later on Sunday as ash from the Icelandic volcano drifts back over the country.

In Portugal, the airport in the country's second city, Porto, was shut until midday, while the French aviation authority said about 30 flights from Paris to southern Europe were cancelled.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Ash shuts northern Italy

About the broadcaster:

Ash shuts northern Italy

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.