Iceland is being hit by a number of small, intense earthquakes and concerns are rising if one of the country’s volcanoes may be near eruption.
Iceland has since raised the aviation alert level to orange which is the second most severe level. The alert level once again brings back memories about the pandemonium that followed the April 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokul, leading to the cancellation of 100,000 flights because volcanic ash floating in the atmosphere is considered an aviation safety risk.
Bardarbunga is a subglacial stratovolcano situated under Iceland’s largest glacier. The region has been hit by more than 3000 earthquakes since Saturday. Iceland’s Meteorological Office has however said that no earthquake above the magnitude of 3 in the Richter scale has been recorded in the last 24 hours.
The earthquakes rocking the Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano has Seismologists worried about the magma movements which can trigger an eruption leading to air traffic hindrance. Seismologists said on Tuesday that the magma is moving, but it is traveling horizontally.
Some 500 quakes have hit the Bardarbunga volcano area since midnight and these included two earthquakes above the magnitude of 5 on the Richter scale. The aviation alert level remains at Orange.
In 2010 the Eyjafjallajokul volcano had erupted and it sparked off international aviation disarray for almost one week leading to heavy losses worth billions of dollars. The volcanic ash is ejected hundreds of feet above and it could inter the air intake inlets of the jet engines causing damage as well as stalling of the engines.