Iceland's Bardarbunga Volcano Begins To Erupt, Ash Cloud Imminent After Aviation Warning Raised To "Red"

Tyler Durden's picture

In April 2010, it was Iceland's unpronouncable Eyjafjallajokull volcano which erupted and forced more than 100,000 flights to be canceled on concern glass-like particles formed from lava could melt in aircraft engines and clog turbines.

A year later, in May 2011, ash from Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano forced flight cancellations in Scotland, northern England and Germany leading to further lower "GDP  adjustments" across Europe which back then was in desperate need of a scapegoat for its then double-dip recession.

So in what may be good news for Europe once again, now teetering on the edge of a triple-dip recession (in the confines of Europe's worst depression ever), moments ago Iceland's meteorological service reported that the island's Bardarbunga volcano, having been closely observed by volcano-watchers for the past month due to heightened seismic activity, has begun to erupt which means in addition to Russia's trade war, Europe now has another volcanic eruption to blame its latest GDP contraction on. As the local Met office summarizes, a "small" eruption of lava has occurred to the northeast of the volcano leading the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service to declare that "all air traffic is now prohibited in a large radius around the volcano."

According to Vedur.is, the aviation warning color changed to “red,” indicating “significant emission of ash into atmosphere likely” which also means that countless trans-Atlantic flights are about to be halted once again.

Ash cloud may take several hours to appear, Iceland Civil Protection Agency says, because eruption first must melt through an ice cap of 150-400 meters.

From Ruv.is:

A small sub-glacial volcanic eruption has started near Bardarbunga volcano, under the icecap of Dyngjujökull glacier in the northern part of Vatnajökull Glacier, according to the Icelandic Met Office. All air traffic is now prohibited in a large radius around the volcano.

 

The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has raised the alert phase to emergency phase accordingly. Furthermore, the Met Office has raised the aviation color code from orange to red resulting in the air space above the eruption site being closed. The eruption is considered a minor event at this point. Because of a pressure from the glacier cap it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not.

 

Authorities say that an evacuation program has been set in motion, but there are currently not enough information to decide whether Kelduhverfi and Oxarfjordur, on the north coast, will be evacutaed. A number of tourists are in the area.

 

The Coast Guards aircraft, TF-Sif, is currently monitoring the area and there are no visible signs of a plume at this moment. Nothing indicates floods because of the eruption.

 

At this stage measurements taken are based on a small event. The Jökulsárgljúfur canyon has been closed and evacuation of tourists in that area and around Dettifoss waterfall has started. The situation at this stage does not call for evacuation of habitants in Kelduhverfi, Öxarfjördur and Núpasveit. People in those areas are encouraged to watch news closely and have their mobiles switched on at all times.

BNO News adds that "a  small sub-glacial eruption started Saturday near the Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland, prompting the evacuation of tourists and causing the closure of airspace in the area, Icelandic police said, adding that it was uncertain whether the eruption would stay sub-glacial. The Icelandic Met Office said it believed a small sub-glacial lava eruption begun on Saturday afternoon under the icecap of the Dyngjujökull glacier in the northern part of the Vatnajökull glacier, near the Bárðarbunga volcano. It followed a “significant” increase in seismic activity that begun after 10 a.m. local time.

“The eruption is considered a minor event at this point. Because of pressure from the glacier cap it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not,” Icelandic Police said in a statement. “The Coast Guard aircraft, TF-Sif, is currently monitoring the area and there are no visible signs of a plume at this moment. Nothing indicates floods because of the eruption.”

As a reminder, the Bardarbunga volcano is 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) wide and rises about 1,900 meters (6,234 feet) above sea level. It last erupted in 1996 and can spew both ash and molten lava. The volcano lies beneath Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. Roads to and from the area have been closed and the Coast Guard was today scheduled to fly over the area with scientists from the University of Iceland and people from the Civil Protection Agency.

Or, to put it in social network-friendly terms, Big Bardarboom which will shortly lead to a flurry of press releases by international airline carriers halting transatlantic flights and leading to chaos, further GDP forecast cuts, and the ECB finally getting the geological boost it needed to justify yet another monetary intervention.

 -> Update: Sure enough moments ago on Bloomberg: Eurocontrol Says Danger Area Declared Around Icelandic Volcano

Those who wish to track all the latest seismic activity in 3-D can do so at the following page..