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Ash cloud over Europe could last for months

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Brynjar Gaudi/AP

(Read caption) Smoke and steam hang over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, early Thursday. For the second straight day, the volcanic ash cloud has continued to cause major flight delays across Europe.

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For the second straight day, ash from a volcano in Iceland has continued cause major flight delays across Europe. Only 11,000 of the nearly 28,000 flights that normally pass over Europe are expected to take place on Friday, according to Eurocontrol, an intergovernmental organization that manages air traffic in Europe.

Stranded travelers are likely to take little solace in reports from scientists who warn that the eruption creating all the ash may continue for days, weeks, or even months. It remains difficult for scientists in Iceland to ascertain how long the eruption is likely to continue. As of Friday morning, the webcams used to monitor the volcano are still covered in a cloud of ash, reports the BBC. The main problem, however, is not the eruption, but the winds pushing the ash towards Europe.

Minimal effect on US

Although the cloud will eventually reach the US, ABC News reports that it will likely not create problems for domestic flights. However, grounded flights in Europe have affected US flights due to fleet planning issues created by planes stuck in Europe.

"This stuff will go all around the world, but by the time it gets back to the West Coast of the United States, [it'll have] pretty well fallen out to the point where it's not a danger to us," Nance told "Good Morning America" today. "But we've never seen [such a volcanic disruption] on a scale like this where it has hit a tremendous beehive of daily aviation activity."


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