August 28, 2014 5:00 pm

Germany puts plane, lasers on stand-by for possible volcano eruption

Met office staff monitor computer screens showing seismic activity from the Bardarbunga volcanic eruption at the Icelandic met office in Reykjavik on August 23, 2014.


BERLIN – Germany has put a specialized aircraft and a network of laser measuring stations on stand-by in case Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano erupts.

The transport ministry says the measures are designed to swiftly determine the threat to airline traffic from ash spewed into the atmosphere by an eruption.

WATCH: Aerial footage of Bardarbunga Volcano

Germany’s transportation minister, Alexander Dobrindt, said Thursday that the laser measuring stations can detect ash concentration up to an altitude of 12 kilometres (7.5 miles).

READ MORE: 500 earthquakes rock Iceland volcano in just a few hours

The 2010 eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajokul in Iceland caused some 100,000 flights across Europe to be cancelled because officials worried the ash could damage jet engines.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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