View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Saturday 17 April

Pouring with rain all day, a situation not likely to improve.

Neither is the situation around air travel in western and northern Europe. The cloud of ash out of the Icelandic volcano continues to track southeast across the Atlantic, causing a near-total shutdown of airports on the continent. The UK is also still a no-fly zone. The implications are massive. Not only are people unable to travel within countries, or fly overseas, those caught out abroad since Thursday are unable to return by air. The situation is dire but manageable for continental Europe; there are ferries across the North Sea as well as the Channel Tunnel. The situation is horrendous for anyone caught out on another continent. Travellers will run out of credit on their creditcards, hotelbills will ratchet up to dizzying heights, they cannot return to work or school. As far as transportation goes, food cannot be imported from overseas (if it has a short shelf life, e.g. soft fruit), spare parts cannot be flown in at a couple of hours' notice.

At moment of posting, all flight movements across the UK are banned until 0600 GMT tomorrow morning, and this is likely to be extended for a couple of days beyond that point.