Updated from 6:54 a.m. EDT

LONDON (

TheStreet

) -- The ash cloud from the eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland has grounded more than 200 flights in Europe for safety reasons.

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in London warned late Monday there was a risk that some ash clouds may reach parts of northern Europe in the next 48 hours,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

The ash cloud forced President Obama to shorten his trip to Ireland.

Iceland and Scotland already are affected by the ash cloud and it's expected Northern England and Northern Ireland could be affected later Tuesday.

"Most airlines have cancelled flights today -- 252 flights," said Brian Flynn, head of operations at the Brussels-based Eurocontrol via Twitter. "Parts of ash cloud to cover Scotland and Northern Ireland today."

Flynn warned that 500 flights could be affected./

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The latest ash cloud is the second to strike the region in as many years.

Authorities say they don't expect the kind of massive grounding of flights that followed last year's eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland because systems and procedures have been improved since then and the cloud is currently not expected to move over continental Europe,

The Associated Press

reported.

British Airways said it was suspending a number of flights. No major U.S. airlines have reported flight disruptions.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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