Iceland Raises Volcano Alert to Highest Level

Bardarbunga eruption begins, but it's all underground for now

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 23, 2014 10:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – It looks like Bardarbunga is getting ready to pop. That would be the Iceland volcano rumbling of late and threatening to disrupt air travel in the manner of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010. Iceland officials say a "subglacial eruption" is now underway, reports AP, which quotes a volcano expert who says lava from the volcano has started melting ice under the Vatnajokull glacier. But whether that will result in an eruption that sends ash and steam skyward remains unclear. Authorities raised their aviation alert level to red, the highest possible on a five-point scale, which means "significant ash emissions are likely," reports the BBC. Authorities evacuated the area near the volcano this week after hundreds of small earthquakes were detected.

A 2010 file photo of ash and dust from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption.
A 2010 file photo of ash and dust from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
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