Volcano Ash Cloud Sets Off Global Domino Effect

This aerial photo shows a plume of ash rising from the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, Monday, April 19, 2010. Scientists say because this volcano is located below a glacial ice cap, magma is being cooled quickly, causing explosions and plumes of grit that can be catastrophic to plane engines, depending on prevailing winds. But scientists in Iceland offered some hope Monday that conditions might be easing, saying the new volcanic ash plume is lower, which would pose less of a threat to commercial aircraft in the future. (AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson) ** ICELAND OUT ** AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson

While the volcanic ash cloud covering parts of Europe continues to wreak havoc for airlines - costing the industry more than $1 billion as of Monday - grounding most of the continent's air travel for several days has had a ripple effect extending far beyond Europe's borders.

The following is a collection of international anecdotes demonstrating how the ash cloud has done more than hit airlines' bottom lines and inconvenienced air travelers.

• The lack of refrigeration facilities at the airport in capital of the West African nation of Ghana has been a big blow to pineapple and pawpaw farmers who sell to Europe because of the lack of flights. As of Tuesday, no cargo flights have taken off yet.

• In Africa, a group of five people from Sierra Leone and Liberia had to abandon a fact-finding trip to the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor in The Hague.

• In Kenya, thousands of day laborers are out of work because produce and flowers can't be exported amid the flight cancellations. Kenya has thrown away 10 million flowers - mostly roses - since the volcano eruption. Asparagus, broccoli and green beans meant for European dinner tables are being fed to Kenyan cattle because storage facilities are filled to capacity.

• The U.S. Travel Association estimates that the ash cloud produced by the eruption has cost the U.S. economy $650 million, approximately $130 million per day. That kind of loss to the economy affects the cashflow to fund about 6,000 American jobs, the association said. Every international flight bound for the U.S. is worth an average of $450,000 in spending from travelers, which the association says pays for five jobs per flight.

• Nissan Motor Co.'s production at a line at its Oppama plant near Tokyo and two lines at its Kyushu factory in southern Japan will stop all day Wednesday because the planned shipment of tire pressure sensors from Ireland has not arrived, company spokeswoman Sachi Inagaki said. The suspension would affect nearly 2,000 vehicles, including the Cube compact made at the Oppama plant, and the Murano and Rogue crossover SUV models produced at the Kyushu plant as well as eight other models that are produced on the same production lines, Inagaki said.

• BMW North America spokeswoman Jan Ehlen told the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg on Monday that the automaker will likely reduce production at the BMW plant in South Carolina because of a shortage of supplies, but shouldn't have to shut the plant down. BMW uses planes to ship transmissions and other components from its German factories to South Carolina. The Greer plant makes BMW's X5 and X6 sport utility vehicles.

• The Pentagon said Monday that medical evacuation flights out of Iraq and Afghanistan are taking eight hours longer because flights have been halted to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for treatment at the Landstuhl military hospital. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the military is using the Navy's Rota Air Base in Spain to fly troops back to the United States for care at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington.

• The German Foundation for Organ Transplant is delivering hearts, lungs and livers to patients on the basis of how close they are to a delivery. In coordination with the European organization Eurotransplant, the foundation said all organs that usually get flown out to patients were instead being distributed via ground transportation.

• In New York City's Flower District, thousands of dollars worth of tulips, peonies, daffodils and hundreds of other varieties usually come in on the Friday night flights from the Netherlands to be distributed starting Saturday morning. Last weekend's weddings didn't have Dutch flowers.

• Swiss supermarket Migros warned of diminishing supplies of green asparagus during the beloved vegetable's peak season amid halted air deliveries from the United States. Cod from Iceland and fresh tuna filets from Vietnam and the Philippines could also run out, it warned.

• Italian farmers' lobby Coldiretti said each workday without flights costs euro10 million (about $14 million) as mozzarella and fresh fruits risk going bad.

• Cambridge University's modern and medieval languages faculty delayed oral exams for Monday and Tuesday after students and examiners were left stranded late last week, Britain's Sunday Times reported.

• Marathoner David Gray missed his second consecutive Boston Marathon Monday. In 2009, he sat out the race because of injury. This year, he couldn't climb Heartbreak Hill because he was stuck in a hotel room in Brussels, Belgium.

• People trapped in the U.K. would partially offset the loss of revenue from tourists unable to fly to England, Howard Archer, chief economist of IHS Global Insight, told British newspaper The Guardian. "Obviously, the longer that the problem does persist, the more serious will be the economic repercussions," he told the paper.

A backlog of passengers waiting for flights to resume means tens of thousands of people are still stranded and increasingly strapped for cash. Stuck passengers have had to shell out for hotels, restaurant meals, clothing and transport to and from the airport as they seek information on when their travel nightmare might end.

• Andrew and Debbie Jackman of Britain spent more than two years saving up for their family vacation to Australia. After the couple and their two teenaged sons squeezed into a 150 Australian dollar ($138) hotel room Friday night, the hotel raised the price of the same room to AU$350 Saturday - simply because it could, Andrew said ruefully. After endless negotiations, the hotel brought the price back down to AU$160, but the family, broke and frustrated, opted to move Sunday to a hostel.

• In Japan, Francois Broche was down to his last 3,000 yen ($30). The 33-year-old literature and philosophy professor from Nimes, France, said he would have to call his bank at home to see if he can get his money transferred - but doesn't know how.

• Nicolas Ribard, 29, from Avignon, France, was among about a dozen stranded tourists squatting on sleeping bags that Narita airport officials had lent them. He and three other friends had about 3,000 yen between them, and were surviving on airport-issued crackers, bottled water and coupons for one free shower a day.

• Tom Napier - an American stuck in Oslo, where he had been visiting a friend - said his prolonged absence from his job as a high school history teacher in Bernards, N.J., will "more than likely" affect his salary.

• Andrew Cutter, 40, of London, who got stuck in Sweden while visiting his brother, said he will miss out on income from his job as a contractor in the events industry. The four days of waiting will cost him about $1,000 in lost wages.

More on Volcano Fallout: Ash and Travel Woes

Volcano Ash Cloud Costs U.S. $650 Million, Group Says
Flights Go Airborne With Cheers, More Ash
To Fly or Not to Fly? That's No Easy Question
Millions of Stranded Travelers Given Hope
Volcano Spews Less Ash as Lava Boils Up
More Ash Fallout: 10 Million Roses Ruined
Volcanic Ash Puts Organ Transplants in Peril
Volcano Cloud's Impact: Some $2B and Counting
Tweet This: Get Me Home
Stranded Travelers Seek Alternate Routes
Volcanic Eruption Grinds Modern World to a Halt

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