Iceland Volcanic Eruption Still Pouring Out Lava, but No Ash Cloud

A fissure eruption near Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano was still spouting lava on Monday but no ash, a day after an eruption that briefly caused the country to raise its ash alert level for aviation to its highest level.

Iceland’s largest volcanic system – 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) – has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks, putting scientists on high alert.

“The fissure eruption is continuing at a stable level,” Iceland’s Meteorological Office said in a statement. “No explosive activity is observed, the eruption remains an effusive lava eruption.”

On Sunday, lava fountains more than 50 meters [164 feet] high prompted the Met Office to raise its ash warning for aviation to red, the highest level on a five-color scale indicating, that an eruption is imminent or under way, with a risk of spewing ash.

Iceland cut the level back to orange – the next highest level – later in the day, saying the eruption was not creating ash.

In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of Europe’s air space for six days.

(Reporting by Robert Robertsson; Editing by Larry King)