UK & World News

  • 30 August 2014, 14:26

Large Earthquake Strikes Icelandic Volcano Site

A large earthquake has hit the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland where authorities have been on high alert since a surge of small quakes this month.

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake was recorded under Bardarbunga's main volcano on Saturday - but there were no immediate signs of a fresh eruption.

The quake is the latest in a series of tremors which have sparked concerns there could be a similar eruption to the one that hit the country's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010.

That eruption shut down much of Europe's airspace.

On Friday, there was a small eruption in a fissure in a glacier at the Holuhraun lava field around 25 miles from the main crater.

It caused the Icelandic Met Office to raise the aviation warning to red. It later reduced the alert level to orange and withdrew airspace restrictions after the eruption stopped.

Seismologist Martin Hensch said there were currently no signs of magma heading towards the surface, but added it was impossible to predict what would happen.

He said: "There are so many parameters in this system. We cannot make a forecast for the next hours or the next few days.

"So we have to continue to monitor and react to events when they happen."

Thousands of flights across Europe had to be cancelled during the 2010 eruption over fears volcanic ash could harm jet engines.