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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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Two earthquakes detected near Icelandic volcano

Two earthquakes have been detected close to the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland, according to the national meteorological service.

A warning sign blocks the road to Bardarbunga volcano Credit: REUTERS/Sigtryggur Johannsson

The first earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3 and occurred just after midnight local time (1am UK time), while a second weaker earthquake happened around 5:30 this morning.

Although there have been several small quakes, these are the largest measured since the beginning of the current phase of volcanic activity.

There are no signs of an imminent eruption although the possibility can not be ruled out, the Icelandic Met Office said.

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