STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Iceland’s Met Office on Monday raised its risk level to the aviation industry for an eruption at its Bardarbunga volcano to orange, which is the fourth level on a five-grade scale.
There has been intense seismic activity at Bardarbunga since Aug. 16, although there are no signs of eruption yet.
Met Office seismologist Martin Hensch said the risk of any disruptive ash cloud similar to the one in 2010 would depend on how high any ash would be thrown, how much there would be and how fine-grained it would be.
“As evidence of magma movement shallower than 10 km implies increased potential of a volcanic eruption, the Bardarbunga aviation colour code has been changed to orange,” it said.
“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.”
Hensch said the biggest risk in Iceland itself was from flood waves from any eruption under the glacier. He said the area of Iceland mainly at risk of flooding was mostly uninhabited but that roads in the area had been closed.