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Iceland Volcano

Iceland Volcano

Iceland Volcano: Bardarbundga volcano remains poised to erupt

Evacuation order in force in region, with concern over volcanic ash’s effect on air traffic

Thomson Reuters Posted: Aug 21, 2014 6:49 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 21, 2014 6:49 AM ET

Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano remained poised to erupt Thursday, with an evacuation order still in force for an area to the north.

Authorities warned airlines Aug. 18 about increased seismic activity at Iceland’s largest volcanic system. Ash from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe’s airspace for six days.

A plane flies past a smoke plume from the 2011 eruption of the Grímsvötn volcano in southeast Iceland, on May 21, 2011. Grímsvötn, the island nation's most active volcano, caused disruption to air travel across northwestern Europe from May 22–25 in 2011.

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The agency said the decision was a safety measure as it could not be ruled out that the seismic activity in Bardarbunga could lead to a volcanic eruption.

On Wednesday, about 1,000 earthquakes were detected in the Bardarbunga region, the largest quakes measuring around three in size.

All roads leading into the area around the volcano were closed earlier in the week and park rangers who live there during the summer and tourists have been removed.

A warning sign blocks the road to Bardarbunga volcano, some 20 kilometres away, in the northwest region of the Vatnajokull glacier on Aug. 19, 2014. Iceland's civil protection agency has decided an evacuation of an area north of the volcano, saying it could not rule out an eruption.

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The Icelandic Met Office on Monday raised its risk level to the aviation industry for an eruption to orange, which is the fourth level on a five-grade scale, after confirming magma movements less than 10 km from the surface.

The Vatnajokull National Park is more than 300 km from the capital Reykjavik and covers 14 per cent of Iceland.

The 2010 eruption at Eyjafjallajokull, a little over 100 km from the capital, affected more than 10 million air travelers and cost $1.7 billion US.

Original article from CBCNews | World