Iceland's volcanic eruption in the past caused the death of tens of thousands of people

19/04/2010 17:05

Cloud of volcanic dust and ashes after last week's explosion of the volcano in Iceland, particularly crippled air travel in Europe. Significant impact on the lives of the old continent also had another eruption of the Icelandic volcano more than 220 years ago. The Laki erupted 8th June 1783, which is sometimes regarded as its most tragic implications for the eruption ever killed just one quarter the population of Iceland and the other tens of thousands across Europe. The explosion caused one of the greatest climate-related disasters last millennium.

Volcano in the south of Iceland was active eight months (until February 1784) during which released 15 km cubic lava and 500 million tons of volcanic gases, mainly in the form of sulfur compounds. During the next few years has seen much noticeable cooling of the northern hemisphere, leading to non-harvesting and the outbreak of famine in Iceland, but also in much of Europe.

Summer 1783 was the coldest in many places over the past 500 years, the global average temperature dropped by 1.3 degree Celsius and the temperature stayed below three years. In the summer ruled high temperatures, winters were colder and often destroy crops hail.

In the UK, the famous "Summer Sand", as called for in the form of deposition amount of volcanic dust. According to a recent study by experts from Cambridge University died when more than 20 000 Britons due ihhalácie toxic gases.

Laki eruption is also often associated with the French Revolution of 1789, which was partly caused by lack of food for people, just what caused the change in the weather-induced eruption.

After the explosion, except in Iceland about one quarter of the population died from various diseases 80 percent and 50 percent of sheep cattle and horses. The Danish government, which then governed the island, even considered resettlement throughout the rest of the island's population (around 40,000 people) outside the Island. The eruption on the island caused the famine in 1783 and the 1786th

About a week after the explosion arrived volcanic ash in Central Europe at the end of June 1783 is already rozkladalo cloud over the whole of Europe. Contemporary press described the sun in the east and west as sanguine disk and can be observed at noon and unprotected eye. Later, the volcanic ash cloud spread to Russia and of China.

The consequences of the explosion were evident even outside Europe. According to experts, the explosion of Laki, followed by cooling and lack of rainfall, drought and associated famine in Egypt and India and the rice crop failure in Japan. In North America it was winter in 1784 and the longest najstudenšia that when it was recorded. Mississippi River is frozen as in New Orleans and in waters of the Gulf of Mexico experienced ice.

( °source