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An Icelandic volcano brought much of the world's air travel to a halt. And then it brought the world to Iceland.Few outside this island nation had heard of Eyjafjallajokull – and even fewer could pronounce it – when the volcano erupted in April 2010 after two centuries of silence, spewing an ash cloud that closed Europe's airspace and grounded millions of travelers.Iceland is home to 32 active volcanic sites, and its history is punctuated with eruptions, some of them catastrophic.Iceland was briefly infamous as the country that stopped the world.Katla is one of Iceland's largest and most feared volcanoes. Its last eruption, in 1918, lasted almost a month, unleashed floodwaters the size of the Amazon and extended Iceland's coast by 5 kilometers.Like about half of Iceland's volcanoes, it lies under glacial ice hundreds of meters thick. Like almost everyone in Iceland, Olafsson wants tourists to see his country as safe and welcoming – but to stay alert.
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