Iceland raises Bardarbunga volcano alert to orange

File photo: Bardarbunga, 7 November 1996 Seismic activity has been detected at Bardarbunga, including a strong earthquake

Related Stories

The risk of an eruption at Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano has increased, with signs of "ongoing magma movement", Iceland's meteorological office says.

The risk level to the aviation industry has been raised to orange, the second-highest level, the met office said.

Any eruption could potentially lead to flooding or an emission of gas, the office added in a statement.

The Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, producing an ash cloud that severely disrupted European airspace.

The Bardarbunga volcanic system is located under the north-west region of Iceland's Vatnajokull glacier.

'Strongest earthquake'

"Intense seismic activity" began at the volcano on 16 August, and there was a strong earthquake in the region early on Monday, the met office said.

"This is the strongest earthquake measured in the region since 1996.

"Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission," the met office said, adding that the situation was being monitored.

The aviation colour codes are used to indicate the level of risk a volcano poses to air travel.

An orange alert indicates that a volcano is showing "escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption", or is erupting without any major volcanic ash emissions.

A red alert means that an eruption is "imminent", or is under way with "significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere".

The ash cloud produced by the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption led to hundreds of thousands of passengers being affected by flight restrictions.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • St John's, CanadaThe Travel Show Watch

    It’s a ships’ symphony – listen to these freighters in Canada play music with their horns

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.