Volcanic Ashes Worry Icelandic Farmers
    2010-04-25 06:16:58     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Xu

Icelandic farmers living in the areas near the erupting volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier have deep worries over the health condition of their farm animals which could easily get exposed to volcanic ashes on their farms.

Gudmundeer Vidersson, whose farm lies just a few kilometers south of the glacier, has 45 horses in the stables and 300 sheep, which he has kept inside after the volcano started eruption on April 14.

The peace the Vidersson family have been living in with the volcano came to a sudden end when volcanic ashes began to rain down onto their farm houses and land day and night.

The man, in his 40s, was always glad to meet reporters from across the world, sharing his doomsday experience in the first few days of the volcanic eruption.

In an interview with Xinhua on Friday evening, Vidersson said: "We knew it was coming. So we put all our animals inside and prepared in the best way we could because the ash was coming. Early Saturday morning I woke up and everything was dark as the middle of night and it was lot of ash."

He and his neighbors managed to venture out into the darkness to search for horses, sheep and cattle and drive them to safe places. Vidersson said: "I had some horses outside and I used that time to drive them in. and I have a barn to drive them into. Then I was helping my neighbors who don't have a house to hold all the horses."

He said that the farmers began to worry about the health condition of their farm animals.

It could happen that the ash is really poisonous and animals would die if they eat the ashes which contained fluorine or heavy metal pollutants. Scientists gave them some relief, saying the volcanic ash is not that dangerous.

While ashes on the roofs of houses and on roads have been cleaned, no one has come up with a good idea to deal with ashes fallen on the grasslands.

Vidersson said: "Farmers with their fields covered in ashes do not know what they should do. To turn the earth to put the ashes under?"

The farmers know that their trouble with volcanic ashes will not come to an easy end in the coming months. So far they can still keep their animals inside for a few more weeks. But when the summer comes it will be difficult to do that again.

The mountains up are full of ashes and in the months to come it is bound to be ashes on the farm. "In dry north wind we will have stroke of ashes going over the farm. If it's dry wind we have it again," said Vidersson.



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