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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Small eruption detected under Iceland glacier

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake took place today in Iceland, forcing the country to raise its aviation alert for the Bardarbunga volcano to red.

According to the Icelandic Met Office:

  • A small lava-eruption has been detected under the Dyngjujökull glacier.
  • The Icelandic Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF is flying over the area with representatives from the Civil Protection and experts from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences. Data from the equipment on board is expected later today.
  • Data from radars and web-cameras is being received, showing no signs of changes at the surface.
  • The estimate is that 150-400 metres of ice is above the area.
  • The aviation colour code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.
  • At around 2pm local time (3.04pm GMT), an earthquake occurred, estimated 4.5 in magnitude.

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