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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Iceland volcano alert downgraded after minor eruption

Iceland has downgraded its volcano alert level back to orange after declaring a small eruption which started overnight was not a threat to air travel.

Steam and ash rise from the Bardarbunga volcano after a small eruption overnight Credit: Reuters

A minor eruption was reported at the Bardarbunga volcano after more than a week of rumblings and earthquakes in the region, prompting the country's Met Office to issue a red alert.

Steam and ash were seen rising from the 1km-long fissure in the lava field north of the Vatnajokull glacier, which covers part of Bardarbunga - Iceland's biggest volcano system.

Experts say the amount is too small to cause aviation problems, but say a restricted flight zone covering a radius of three nautical miles and an altitude of 5,000 feet remains in force.

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