April 19th, 2010
04:02 PM ET

Dispatch from an ash storm

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/19/t1.gary.volcano.ash.jpg caption="Gary Tuchman reports from an ash storm in Iceland" width=300 height=169]

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

The power of Iceland's volcano is intimidating. We flew in a helicopter within a few hundred feet of it; its force seemed other worldly.

Boulders were catapulted out of it; lightning bolts could be seen every few seconds from the black and white smoke coming out of the crater. We were transfixed by what we were seeing so close.

But what also took me aback was the effect of the volcano from a bit farther away.

We took a drive to the south of Iceland to see where the ash was falling. A brilliantly blue sunny sky started to turn gray, and then, in no time at all, turned black, like we were driving into a tornado.

Ash started pelting us almost like it was sleet. Visibility turned to zero on the road; we hoped another car wasn't heading towards us on the narrow two-lane street.

Ash fell in our eyes and hair. Limited ash fell in our mouths and noses because we wore masks. But people's property was getting decimated by the ash which will turn into a mucky mud.

Ash storms are now a daily event in parts of Iceland. They will last as long as the volcano does. And how long it lasts, is unpredictable.

Filed under: Gary Tuchman
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Kathryn- Plym Mtg, PA

    Well, Gary, it is about time you put a mask on. Please remember that a few moments of TV airtime is not worth a lifetime of lung problems. You are doing such a profound job of reporting- Thank you!

    April 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Pamela Porter

    Just unbelievable. Mother Nature is the boss. So sorry for the people there and all left far from their homes. What a mess!

    Austin, TX

    April 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  3. snowwhite1204

    i feel like i m there after reading this article and then i felt they had a lot of difficulties there.

    April 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Diane N.

    Mind blowing to say the least. Our mother earth is really talking to us now...be safe Mr. Tuchman

    April 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm |