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Iceland's eruption is Europe's uncertainty

LONDON -- Ash spewing from an Icelandic volcano is causing disruption and days of uncertainty to more parts of Europe, as officials in Germany said dozens of flights will be grounded today because of its levels in the country's northern regions.

Some say it's been a massive overreaction by badly prepared safety regulators -- one airline even claims the official scientific findings are simply wrong -- but hundreds of flights were canceled yesterday as winds blew the cloud of ash from the Grimsvotn volcano over Scotland and other parts of Europe. Particles in the ash could stall jet engines and sandblast planes' windows, experts say.

Officials in Iceland said the amount of ash being released is decreasing, and they don't expect the disruption to be as bad as last year, when millions were stranded after the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

Travelers trying to go to or leave Scotland were hit hardest. In Germany, weather officials said takeoffs and landings would not be allowed at the northern Bremen and Hamburg airports early today because of increased levels of ash in the atmosphere.

In Sweden, where medium concentrations of ash were over its western coast, including over its second-largest city Göteborg, 10 domestic flights were canceled last evening.

Irish budget airline Ryanair sent a plane into Scottish airspace and said it found no ash in the atmosphere. -- AP

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