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Europe reacts to spreading ash cloud


BOSTON — Flights were grounded across Europe today as a spew of volcanic ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull spread over the continent. GlobalPost's correspondents in the affected countries sent their reactions:

Conor O'Clery reports that the only way out of Ireland is by boat and that the summer of 1816 holds a worrisome precedent.

In Belgium, Paul Ames explains why authorities there and in the Netherlands are playing it safe by canceling flights.

Further south, the cancellations spread in France, as did the web commenters' hyperbole, writes Mildrade Cherfils.

And Michael Goldfarb was stranded in the United States, unable to travel home to his family in London. But give the American media's coverage of the "act of God," he was grateful for his internet connection.

An informal meeting of European Union finance ministers in Madrid was supposed to kick off Friday but many of the attendees are stuck in their capitals, writes Teri Schultz in Brussels.

In GlobalPost today, Argentina correspondent Julia Kumari Drapkin asked a geophysicist why there have been so many earthquakes lately. She followed up on the ash cloud: Could it be related to the earthquakes? Probably not, but it might be related to retreating glaciers.

The eruption grew stronger throughout the day, Reuters reports, with growing intensity.