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Iceland monitors fissure eruption as aviation warning lowered

Iceland

Fissure eruption being monitored

Iceland is monitoring a fissure eruption north of the Bardarbunga volcano as authorities downgraded the threat of a full-blown ash cloud.

The Icelandic Met Office lowered their aviation warning level to “orange,” after earlier raising it to the highest level following the eruption, according to an e-mailed statement. “A significant emission of ash into the atmosphere is not likely,” the agency said.

Airlines are on alert for a potential repeat of a disruption in 2010, when a volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull ice cap spewed a column of ash 5.6 miles into the air. The eruption shut airspace for six days, forcing carriers to cancel more than 100,000 flights. Ash is a danger because the glass-like particles can damage jet engines.

“Currently we’re just monitoring the eruption, which is very weak,” Rikke Pedersen, a geophysicist at the Nordic Volcanological Center, said by telephone.

Associated Press

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