posted at 06:50
Author: The Associated Press
Iceland Raises Aviation Alert to Red Again After Small Lava Eruption Near Bardarbunga Volcano
REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland's authorities on Sunday raised the aviation warning code to red for a region close to the subglacial Bardarbunga volcano after a small fissure eruption in the area. The country's meteorological agency described the eruption in the Holuhraun lava field, about 5 kilometers north of the Dyngjujoekull glacier, as a "Very calm lava eruption and can hardly be seen on seismometers." Sunday morning's eruption, which took place at around 1 a.m. ET, followed a smaller one in the same site on Friday that also prompted authorities to briefly raise the aviation warning code to restrict flights in the area. The red warning code - the highest in the country's alert system - meant that no flights are allowed in an airspace area of about 40 square nautical miles north of the eruption area, up to 6,000 feet from the ground. The fissure eruption was a crack that came to the surface about 40 kilometers from the main Bardarbunga volcano, which lies under the vast Vatnajokull glacier that dominates the eastern corner of Iceland. Although Sunday's fissure eruption was more powerful than the one on Friday, experts said the situation is contained, and is unlikely to result in the same level of aviation chaos as 2010. In April of that year, an eruption at the Eyjafjallajokul volcano wreaked havoc on millions of travelers. Dave McGarvie, a volcanologist at Britain's Open University, said the fissure eruptions produce only very small amounts of ash - they produce mostly lava - and are highly unlikely to cause any aviation disruption.

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