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Disruption to air traffic a possibiliy following Icelandic volcano's eruption

Scientists still unsure about how violent the current event could become


Scientists continue to track seismic activity near Bardabunga (Photo: Scanpix)

August 29, 2014
15:11

by Ray Weaver


Flights in and out of Denmark over the next week could be disrupted, following the news that a volcano in Iceland is, as feared, now erupting.

Icelandic officials today raised the aviation warning level near the Bardarbunga volcano to red after an eruption began overnight.

Scientists said a fissure eruption about a kilometre long started in a lava field north of the Vatnajokull glacier.

Icelandic Air Traffic Control has closed the airspace above the eruption up to a height of1,500m.

The volcano had recently been hit by tremors, but Rikke Petersen from the Nordic Nordic Volcanological Institute said that this eruption is not yet anywhere near the level of the one that shut down European airspace in 2010.

“It is a lava eruption, which is probably not as dramatic as people imagine a volcanic eruption,” Petersen told Jyllands-Posten. “The activity leading up to the eruption has been quiet, which could indicate that the incident is not quite over yet.” 

No ash so far
Petersen said that it was impossible to predict, but seismic activity in the area suggested that there was still lava inside the volcano. 

"The ideal scenario would be to get all of the lava on the surface around the volcano, so that it doesn’t pose a danger to people or disrupt air traffic.”

The Iceland civil air patrol said that no volcanic ash had been detected so far.

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 caused the largest closure of European airspace since World War Two.

Watch the live pictures here.



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