Iceland Volcanic Activity Continues

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There is still volcanic activity at Iceland's fifth largest glacier. There are now fears that the smoke and lava could trigger an eruption from a more powerful nearby volcano.

A volcanic eruption in the south of Iceland over the weekend raised fears on Monday that it could trigger a more devastating eruption.

Shortly before midnight on Saturday, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, near the glacier of the same name, started spewing smoke and lava from several craters along a rift that’s popular with hikers.

The volcano gave out a plume of smoke about half a mile high. About 500 people who live in the rural area near the site were evacuated, but later allowed to return home. No injuries or damage to property are reported. Police say there is little threat of flooding unless the eruption grows in scope and begins melting large amounts of ice on the glacier.

Scientists say further volcanic activity is possible. Previous activity by this volcano has triggered eruptions at Mt Katla, a powerful volcano to the east of Eyjafjallajokull.

According to scientists, an eruption at Mt Katla would be much more serious because the lava could melt the ice at the top of the mountain, setting off massive flooding.

Mt Katla, which usually blows every half century, has not erupted since 1918. Iceland sits on a volcanic hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and has relatively frequent eruptions, although most occur in sparsely populated areas and pose little danger to people or property. The last eruption happened in 2004.

Scientists are still monitoring the Eyjafjallajokull glacier for signs of seismic activity, but say there is little warning of eruption.

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