Despite having undergone no historically reported eruptions,the Nabro Volcano erupted shortly after midnight local time on 13 June 2011, after a series of earthquakes ranging up to magnitude 5.7 in the Eritrea-Ethiopia border region. The ash plume was observed on satellite drifting to the west-northwest along the border, spanning about 50 km wide and several hundred kilometres across in the hours immediately following the reported eruption, while reportedly reaching 15 km (8 miles) high.
On 13 June US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to cut short a trip to Ethiopia due to the ash cloud, which was projected to enter a west-to-east jetstream and enter the atmosphere of countries such as Egypt, Yemen, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti and Saudi Arabia.
The ash cloud began disrupting air traffic as UAE-based Emirates flights were cancelled along with Saudi Arabian Airlines flights. Luxor International Airport in Luxor, Egypt was placed on a state of emergency.