Iceland volcano spews more lava, but no ash

Iceland volcano spews more lava, but no ash
The ash warning for aviation stood at orange, the second-highest level on a five-colour scale indicating a risk of ash that could hinder air traffic, after a brief rise to the top level of red on Sunday when lava fountains rose 50 metres high.

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 after an eruption under the icecap.

‘The eruption is still going on at the same pace as before,’ said Einar Heinarsson, a spokesman at Iceland’s department of civil protection. ‘It has been continuous.’

He said lava emerging from a fissure near the volcano had covered an area of about 6.2 square kilometres and was moving northeast towards a river where geoscientists expected some minor gas explosions.

Seismic activity in the area had not diminished and remained stable, he added. If the fissure that the lava is flowing from closes, there is a possibility that new ones might open up, possibly closer to the Vatnajokull glacier, said Kristin Jonsdottir, a geophysicist at the Meteorological Office.

‘Therefore, an eruption at Bardarbunga, beneath the glacier, cannot be ruled out,’ she said.


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