Iceland lowers volcano warning, no sign of eruption

2014-08-24 19:19


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Reykjavik - Iceland lowered its warning code for possible volcanic disruption to the aviation industry to orange from red on Sunday after further analysis of an apparent eruption under a glacier found there had been no eruption after all.

The risk level had been raised to red, the highest level on the country's five-point alert system, on Saturday after authorities detected signs of a small eruption beneath a glacier near the Bardarbunga volcano in central Iceland.

Ash from the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days, affecting more than 10 million people and costing $1.7bn.

"Observations show that a sub-glacial eruption did not occur on yesterday. The intense low-frequency seismic signal observed yesterday has therefore other explanations," Iceland's Met Office said.

The office had therefore decided to move the aviation warning code from red to orange, it said, but since there was no sign the seismic activity was slowing down, an eruption could still not be excluded.

There have been thousands of small earthquakes over the past week at Bardarbunga, which is Iceland's largest volcanic system and located under the ice cap of a glacier. It is in a different range to Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted in 2010.

Red alert indicates an eruption is imminent or underway with a significant emission of ash likely.

The Met Office said on Sunday a magnitude 5.3 earthquake at 5km depth had struck after midnight while another, with a magnitude of about 5, had occurred some five hours later.

"These are the strongest events measured since the onset of the seismic crisis at Bardarbunga and the strongest since 1996," the office said.

Red alert

The region of the Bardarbunga volcano in the centre of the North Atlantic island nation was evacuated due to days of heightened seismic activity.

The evacuated zone was extended somewhat on Saturday, but Icelandic airports remain open though airspace of 140 by 100 nautical miles above the volcano was closed.

It was not immediately clear whether the evacuation area or no-fly zone would be affected by the lowering of the risk level.

Brussels-based aviation authority Eurocontrol said that as soon as the volcano had erupted, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London would produce a regular forecast about the levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere.

Read more on:    iceland  |  natural disasters

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.