Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First Footage from Iceland’s Volcanic Eruption on National Geographic Abu Dhabi
Date and Time: May 14, at 21.00
The devastating eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull in mid-April brought mass disruption to the skies over Europe, shutting down European airspace and stranding hundreds of thousands of air passengers around the world. Moreover, the massive eruption caused extensive evacuations, major flooding, and a plume of ash 9,000 metres high.
As news crews frantically monitored the ash cloud’s progress and reported on stranded tourists and business travellers, a National Geographic film crew were on the ground in Iceland. They documented the dramatic events unfolding at the scene before, during and after the volcano’s eruption on  March 20 and the second, larger eruption on April 14.

This crew was the only one to cover the story from the beginning, securing incredible, unparalleled footage of the volcano as it was erupting. This incredible footage is featured in Iceland Volcano Eruption, premiering in the region on May 14 at 21.00 on National Geographic Abu Dhabi.  
The crew’s work was fraught with danger – as they filmed next to the enormous crater spewing fire and ash, every 10 minutes a gigantic sonic boom hit, rocking them to the core.
Jóhann Sigfússon, the documentary’s director said of his experiences: “We were the only people to land on the glacier atop the volcano (we did it via helicopter) and gain up close access to the volcano as it was erupting. The eruption caused major local flooding which washed away roads and our crew were trapped in one of these floods, which we captured on film.”
At times, the National Geographic crew were forced to drive into the enormous wall of dense ash cloud. With no light and losing all sense of direction, the crew began to have difficulty breathing and had to stop when the road disappeared.
Sigfússon went on to say: “The ash cloud was enormous, a wall of dark grey nasty stuff. I had to drive into it and experience this and hopefully get some good images. We drove forward, entering this devastation with almost all light filtered out from the sun. You could feel the ash in your mouth and face. In my 22 years of filming all around the world this was the most exciting and fantastic experience I have had.”
This timely film also features other dramatic events including Coast Guard rescue flights, exclusive eyewitness accounts from the scene, renowned geologists collecting data from lava and ash, as well as explaining the science behind the volcano chaos and its global impact, including the disruption to air travel.

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