Iceland has once again raised the aviation alert level from orange to red, its highest level. The warning code was raised after an overnight volcanic eruption near Dyngjujokull glacier, Iceland’s Ministry of Civil Protection said. Airspace up to 18,000 feet in the area has also been closed. Scientists said a 0.6 miles long fissure eruption started in the Holuhraun lava field after the midnight local time.
Iceland to send a coast guard aircraft to survey the site
A similar closure of airspace also occurred last Saturday when the meteorologists detected a small volcanic eruption under the Dyngjujökull glacier. The warning code was also raised to red. The airspace was reopened on Sunday, and the aviation alert code was downgraded to orange on Monday. Met officials warned earlier this week that the eruption threat could last months.
After the latest fissure eruption, officials said that the radar system hasn’t yet detected any volcanic ash. Ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption in 2010 had shut down much of the Europe’s airspace for about a week, leading to cancellation of more than 100,000 flights. The Ministry of Civil Protection said Friday that a coast guard aircraft was due to survey the site later in the day.
Fears of a repeat of Eyjafjallajokull have subsided in Iceland
The University of Cambridge scientists said Wednesday that the molten rock was moving north, where the ice is less thick. Therefore, fears of a 2010-like eruption have subsided, at least for now. If magma erupts beneath a thick ice glacier, it would trigger an explosive ash cloud, reports BBC. At the moment, a mixture of steam and lava is coming out of the vent.
Scientists have been watching the Bardarbunga volcano closely for more than a week after hundreds of tremors in the area. Areas around the glacier were evacuated last week amid fears that an eruption could cause ice to melt and trigger flooding. Water level in one lake in the area has risen up to 10m in the last few days.