Ash Clouds across 4 continents.

Volcanoes are magnificent – a true natural wonder of the world.

What isn’t so magnificent is the disruption to many people’s travel plans and the stress that such problems can cause. The stress can also bring out a not-quite-wonder of the world: people’s tempers. Remember this man?

His rather unfocused racist rant about how much he “hates Iceland” pretty much summed up what many traveling people were feeling at the time – even though most had the sense not to walk up to a news camera that was reporting live and say it. But since the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010, the words “ash cloud” cause travelers to run and hide behind their suitcases. So when Iceland’s most active volcano, Grimsvotn, started to erupt in late May, many thought that there was going to be a repeat of the chaos. Fortunately, this particular eruption was producing “the wrong kind of ash” to seriously effect any travel plans, although there were number of flights across Europe that had to be delayed 0r cancelled. In comparison to the previous year, the disruption was very mild so a collective sigh of relief billowed across Europe.

But before the following breath inwards could be taken, the Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle volcano range started to erupt, making sure that the Southern Hemisphere was well represented. 3500 people were evacuated from nearby areas as the ash cloud made its way across Bariloche, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Stanley, Porto Alegre, Cape Town, Melbourne and Auckland forcing airlines to cancel hundreds of international and domestic flights and causing travel chaos across 3 continents.

But just as the southern hemisphere is beginning to cope with the ash, it seems that the rest of Africa is now getting in on the act. A volcano named “Dubbi” in Eritrea has erupted recently and the resulting ash cloud has been swirling about and is now drifting over towards Saudi Arabia and the surrounding areas. The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had to cut short a 3-nation tour of Africa due to the cloud.

Now this may all sound like an apocalyptic, end of days type scenario, but more likely than the Devil popping up and enslaving mankind is many people’s travel plans will be heavily disrupted because of all the activity. But what if you were in or near one of the countries effected by the plume of ash and you were involved in an accident or became seriously ill?  In some cases, emergency evacuation or repatriation can be the only answer for the best treatment. But otherwise, immediate admission to a hospital would probably be the best idea. Here at William Russell, we understand that sometimes people just need to get to a hospital, so if you have one of our award-winning health insurance plans you could be treated in a hospital of your choice(without incurring the massive fees expected to be paid by the non-insured). But if the injury or illness is too severe, emergency evacuation and repatriation could be the only answer – but what if you have an ash cloud in the way? Contact us here to find out all about our policies and to get some further information from one of our excellent sales team, or get an online quote by clicking the link in the top right corner of the page.

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