POOR Iceland has been pummeled with blows of karmic justice lately. The erstwhile economic miracle has turned into a banking garbage heap, and now the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano has resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of people and brought most of Europe’s air traffic to a halt. There were no casualties.

The eruption of Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora volcano in late April 1816 resulted in one of the worst volcanic disasters in world history. People were stranded by lava and ash fall, with the eruption basically wiping out an entire island. The concussion from the explosion was felt as far as a thousand miles away. Temperatures fell worldwide and the year came to be referred to as the “year without summer.” The death toll was roughly 71,000.

Petra Nyman