A powerful volcanic eruption rocked Iceland last week and this week its effects are still being felt as far away as Hong Kong and Kenya.

Blowing winds spread a cloud of ash from the exploding mountain to skies across much of northern Europe, creating unsafe flying conditions that have wreaked havoc with air traffic in Europe and beyond. 

Icelandic Eruption

The volcano that erupted in Iceland is named Eyjafjallajoekull (pronounced AY-yah-fyah-lah-YOH-kuul), and means island-mountain in the Icelandic language. It is located beneath a glacier of the same name. Although it is considered one of Iceland's smaller volcanoes, it still packs a powerful punch. The mountain spewed plumes of ash, smoke, and steam thousands of feet into the air when it erupted on April 14.

Unsafe Skies

Because of the unsafe conditions in the skies, air traffic in the United Kingdom, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and other nearby countries had to be completely shut down for almost a week.

Stopping air traffic in Europe had a ripple effect in airports around the globe. Flights headed to the affected countries were also grounded, leaving millions of travelers stranded. Many airports around the world looked more like campgrounds, as would-be passengers had to sleep in the terminals, unable to get home from their journeys.

What would you do if you were stuck at the airport for days?  Who would you call?  Where would you go (in the airport)?  How could you solve this problem?  Be creative!