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Iceland raises volcano alert level to red: Met Office

Published on Aug 23, 2014 11:27 PM
 

REYKJAVIK (AFP) -  Iceland raised its alert over the nation’s largest volcano to red on Saturday, banning all air traffic in the area, after detecting a small eruption.  

A major explosion at the Bardarbunga volcano could signal a replay of the global travel chaos triggered when another peak blew four years ago, creating a massive ash cloud across Europe.  

“There is an ongoing eruption beneath the glacial surface, probably a small eruption which has not been able to melt the ice cap,” Met Office official Theodor Hervasson said.  The authorities earlier this week evacuated tourists and hikers from the area around Bardarbunga, which kicked into seismic action on Monday with the biggest earthquake registered since 1996.  

However, police said there was no sign of a change at the surface of the erupting area and that the ice layer was between 150 and 400 metres (500 and 1,300 feet) thick.  

 
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