Eyjafjallajökull Iceland Volcanic Eruption 2010


  • Flights cancelled (European Airways affected) Air France lost about US$300 million in revenue.
  • Airlines affected for 9 days.
  • More than 63,000 flights had been cancelled in 23 European countries, businessmen who need to get to another country find themselves stranded for at least 3 days, as trains and rental cars are fully booked for days.
  • Health risk: breathing in ash or poisonous gases like sulfur dioxide, may develop complications especially for those with existing respiratory problems.
  • No aeroplanes to transport food. Agricultural workers will lose income.
  • Other forms of transport like companies that rent out vehicles and trains and ferries will earn more revenue,
  • Hotel trade will also make more money as people are staying longer. However, some hotels will also lose business because people have are not able to travel there.
  • In those hotels, there are more room vacancies and many employees are now redundant.
  • The impact on smaller businesses is more severe. Companies that depend on imports from other countries, will find themselves out of stock of certain items. For example, florists who get flowers from another country.
  • The stocks have fallen due to flights being cancelled and airlines losing money.
  • Celebrities may have to cancel performances because they are not able to get to their destination.

Measures taken to solve problem of people stranded in foreign countries

  • Deploying the Royal Navy, cruise ships and commercial shipping to transport passengers to the UK if the crisis worsens.
  • Using Spain, which is not yet affected by the eruption, as a dropping-off point for stranded air passengers before continuing their journey by train, coach or boat.
  • British consulate officials visiting key airports worldwide to advise passengers of their rights, including food and accommodation from EU-registered carriers.

As you can see from the effects, just one volcano can cause a lot of problems to its surrounding countries and affect the world (stock market). This shows the interconnectedness of this world. Singapore is considered lucky, as it has once again not a direct victim of this eruption, hence the impact on our economy is minimal.

The European countries have been criticized of being unprepared for this emergency, as the previous eruption of Iceland happened in the 1810s. That time, solutions were maybe not recorded, and there was probably not much interconnectedness in the world. However, the problem of being stranded could be alleviated, as in 2001, September 11, the same situation happened. The problem cannot be avoided, as there is still speculation whether the volcano will still erupt, making air travel impossible. In 911, the duration of the attack is much shorter than the volcanic eruption and thus, people were stranded for a shorter period of time.

By Angus Ng (10S01)

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