The volcano dust that has wreaked havoc with air flights over Europe for the last seven days has been seen pouring out of the summit of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland, it has been belatedly reported, and could well be the product of 'unstable volcanic activity'.
The acrid black smoke has been choking dogs and soiling net curtains all across Iceland, and as far afield as the UK and the Urals, and, according to Professor Bjork Svensssson of the Black, Acrid Smoke Research Unit near Rejkjavik, more trouble could lay ahead. Prof Svenssssson said:
"There's no smoke without fire. An outpouring of black, acrid smoke and dust such as this would indicate a significant amount of unstable volcanic activity, possibly enough to precipitate a major eruption. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that we could be looking at another cataclysmic seismic event such as the one in Pompeii. That's the Italian Pompeii, not Portsmouth."
The city of Pompeii, along with its 20,000 inhabitants, was buried under millions of tonnes of lava when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, an event satirised by the gifted, yet troubled, comic genius Frankie Howerd.
There are no volcanoes near Portsmouth.