MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - Iceland’s aviation regulator on Saturday grounded all flights near the stirring Bardarbunga volcano in the south of the country after meteorologists said the sub-glacial volcano could soon melt the ice crust, sending ash into the atmosphere.
“The aviation color code for the Bardarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office said on its webpage.
The huge sub-glacial volcano has been erupting over the past week. If it burns through the Vatnajokull glacier the ensuing ash cloud will envelope the island, which sits on an important air transport hub, disrupting transatlantic and northern European air traffic.
“The thicker the ice, the more water there is, the more explosive it will be and the more ash-rich the eruption will be,” Associated Press cited a local vulcanologist as saying.
The eruption comes four years after Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokul volcano caused a week of international air traffic chaos and grounded some 100,000 flights.