May 25, 2011 / 9:50 AM / 6 years ago

Iceland ash eruption halts, officials say

STOCKHOLM/PARIS (Reuters) - An Icelandic volcano which caused disruption to northern European airspace has stopped belching ash, weather and aviation officials said.

The Grimsvotn volcano, which began erupting on Saturday, is only blowing out steam and concerns over the impact on aviation from ash contamination are easing, they said.

“There are indications that it’s ceasing really. There’s no plume detected since 11 p.m. EDT and the last plume was around 0210 and since then there seems to be mainly steam coming from the crater,” Hrafn Gudmundsson, a meteorologist at the Icelandic met office, told Reuters by telephone.

A British official said the ash eruption had “ceased.”

European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol said on its Twitter page that eruption was coming to an end.

Britain’s Met Office said on its website it was awaiting official confirmation of the halt.

Iceland’s most active volcano began erupting on Saturday, causing airlines to cancel over 1,000 flights in northern Europe on Tuesday and Wednesday due to fears over aviation safety.

Ash cloud warnings over Britain and Ireland were lifted on Wednesday but in Germany, Bremen and Hamburg airports were briefly closed and Berlin was also expected to be disrupted.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told Sky News earlier that Britain was bracing for possible further disruption.

“It (the ash cloud) is expected to come back in our direction for the end of the week,” he told Sky News.

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