The eruption early Sunday morning. Photo: Sveinbjörn Steinþórsson/mbl.is
“This eruption is much more powerful than the one on Friday night”, University of Iceland technician Sveinbjörn Steinþórsson, who also saw the Friday night eruption, told mbl.is this morning. He inspected the eruption along with other scientists.
“The lava spews 20 to 30 meters up (65 to 100 feet), and there are no explosions. The lava is coming up in exactly the same place as in the Friday night eruption, except that the fissure now goes 700-800 meters further to the north (about half a mile). The fissure is now out of the old Holuhraun lava, into the sand to the north.
Now the lava flow is much greater than on Friday. The activity is steady on a 1.200 meter (0.75 miles) crack, but one crater stands alone to the south.”
The scientists left the area at 8 AM. The wind has increased and there is a sandstorm in the area, since there is no rain. The forecast is for worse weather later Sunday.
We now have a video of the eruption on our Facebook page, taken this morning.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office has changed the volcanic activity alert status for aviation in Iceland from red to orange. The small eruption is not a threat to aviation and the published aviation warning area has been cancelled. A 3 nautical mile radius and 5,000 foot altitude immediate safety restricted flight area around the volcanic activity set by the Icelandic Transport Authority remains is effect.
The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police are still operating under Emergency Phase.
The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has decided to move the emergency phase back to alert phase for the eruption north of Vatnajökull glacier, which began at midnight and ended around 04:00 local time. This decision is taken in collaboration with the District Commissioners in Húsavík and Seyðisfjörður. This decision is based on scientific evaluation of the situation. There is still significant seismic activity in the area and travelers are encouraged to follow news and www.safetravel.is for continued updates. Restrictions on roads and areas in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon up to Dettifoss waterfall from the west-side, road 862, are still in effect, as well as other closures in the highlands north of Vatnajökull glacier. At 10:00 UTC, the Icelandic Met Office changed the Aviation Colour Code for Bárðarbunga to ‘orange’, signifying that significant emission of ash into the atmosphere is unlikely. The aviation colour-code for the Askja volcano remains at ‘yellow’.
The following pictures were taken this morning. They show the current volcanic eruption in Iceland. The rift is about 900 meters long and is located about 5 km from the glacier (Vatnajökull). The pictures are taken using a radar and heat signal camera.