Published August 18, 2014
The possibility of a volcanic eruption at Bárðarbunga is increasing, to where the Prime Minister has met with rescue and civil defence officials on the subject.
The Icelandic Met Office reports “very strong indications of ongoing magma movement, in connection with dyke intrusion [and that this] is corroborated by GPS measurements”.
At the same time, they emphasise that “as evidence of magma movement shallower than 10 km implies increased potential of a volcanic eruption, the Bárðarbunga aviation color code has been changed to orange. Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood (jökulhlaup) and ash emission.”
Search and rescue planes have been called back from the area, and Vísir reports that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has been briefed by the police and civil defence authorities on the situation.
International reporting on Bárðarbunga has already had real-life effects on Iceland, as MBL reports that stock in Icelandair fell by 4.35% today.
In the event Bárðarbunga erupts, the result is likely to be an ash cloud, as well as flooding that RÚV reports will probably head northwards, to the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. The curious and the thrill-seeking are advised to stay away from the area, and roads leading near Bárðarbunga have been closed.
For those following the news of Bárðarbunga abroad, you can watch events unfold via this live webcam feed (may require auto-refreshing). For our more statistically inclined readers, here is a 3D map of the earthquakes that have occurred in the area over the past couple days.
Those following the news in Iceland who do not understand Icelandic can stay up-to-the-minute informed through the following links:
(The above image is of the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull.)