Volcano Erupts in Iceland Glacier

Scientists fear small eruption could trigger larger one
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2010 12:07 PM CDT
Molten lava vents from a rupture near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, as a volcano erupts early Sunday, March 21, 2010.   (AP Photo/APTN)
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(Newser) – A volcano erupted near a glacier in southern Iceland, shooting ash and molten lava into the air and forcing the evacuation today of hundreds of people from nearby villages. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, but scientists feared the eruption could trigger a larger and potentially more dangerous eruption at the Katla volcano.

"The volcano has been inflating since the beginning of the year, both rising and swelling," the geophysicist says. Authorities initially feared the eruption occurred below the 100-square-mile Eyjafjallajokull glacier and could have triggered floods if the glacial ice melted. But after an aerial survey, they concluded that the eruption struck near the glacier in an area where there was no ice. There hasn't been an eruption near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier since 1821.

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