Iceland Tells Airlines Volcano Beneath Biggest Glacier May Erupt

Aug 18, 2014 10:38 am ET

Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Iceland warned airlines that there may be an eruption at one of the island’s largest volcanoes located underneath Vatnajokull, Europe’s biggest glacier.

The alert level at Bardarbunga was raised to “orange,” indicating “heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption,” the Reykjavik-based Met Office said in a statement on its website. Over 250 tremors have been measured in the area since midnight. The agency said there are still no visible indications of an eruption.

The volcano is 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) wide and rises about 1,900 meters above sea level. Bardarbunga, which last erupted in 1996, can spew both ash and molten lava.

Ash from Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano forced flight cancellations in Scotland, northern England and Germany in May 2011. An eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in April 2010 caused the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights on concern glass-like particles formed from lava might melt in aircraft engines and clog turbines.