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Icelandic volcanic ash alert back to orange after eruption

Iceland has cut its ash alert level for aviation to orange from red after raising it to the maximum level earlier in the day due to a fresh eruption from a fissure in the Bardarbunga volcano system.

Iceland's largest volcanic system has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert.

In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of Europe's air space for six days.

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Risk grows of another volcanic eruption in Iceland

The risk of another major volcanic eruption in Iceland similar to the 2010 explosion which grounded flights across Europe today came a step closer.

The country's Met Office has raised the risk level of an eruption at Bardabunga, Iceland's largest volcanic system, to orange - the second most serious grade.

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 caused havoc across Europe Credit: Reuters

It said it has measured the strongest earthquake in the region since 1996 in the early hours of today, and said it had detected magma movement less than 10km below the surface.

If it does erupt, the Met Office said, it would cause a flood and create an ash cloud.

The cloud from the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano - which is in a different range to Bardabunga - closed down much of Europe's air travel for almost a week, affecting more than 10 million people.

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