Small Volcano Erupts Near Iceland's Bardarbunga, Puts Region On Red Alert

 @SnehaShankar30 on August 29 2014 9:25 AM
Bardarbunga volcano, Iceland
Warning signs block the road to Bardarbunga volcano, some 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) away, in the north-west region of the Vatnajokull glacier on Aug. 19, 2014. Reuters/Sigtryggur Johannsson

Iceland declared an "aviation danger area" around a small volcanic eruption near the Bardarbunga volcano. Scientists said the eruption started early Friday in a lava field north of the Vatnajökull glacier and was nearly half a mile long.

The airspace over the eruption region briefly was closed up to a height of 1,500 meters (4,921 feet), though all of Iceland's airports were open as authorities lowered the alert status to its second-highest level. Authorities also said airborne ash found after the eruption was “minimal.” The ash emitted is not expected to affect the U.K.’s airspace, BBC reported.

"Scientists who have been at work close to the eruption monitor the event at a safe distance," a statement from the Department of Civil Protection said.

A coast guard aircraft will visit the region to survey the site further while the U.K.’s Met Office is reportedly tracking the situation.

Bjorn Oddsson, a geophysicist from Iceland's Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, said, according to BBC, "It's mostly effusive; there's no ash in the air, and not even in the vicinity," adding: "So mostly lava is pouring out of the craters right now and the only flight restriction is over the area. All airports are open, and things are quite in control."

Last Sunday, Iceland’s Met Office reported a magnitude 5 earthquake, causing the authorities to issue an alert over the volcanic region.

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