Iceland Volcano Risk: Bardarbunga Volcano Alert Moves Up To Orange

August 19, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Iceland Volcano Risk Pic Eyjafjallajokull

Iceland volcano risk upped by officials. A series of earthquakes has pushed Iceland’s Met Office to raise the level of eruption risk for the Bardarbunga volcano to orange.

On Monday, Iceland officials announced that one of the country’s largest volcanos is at an all time high risk of eruption.

Iceland’s Met Office (short for the Meteorological Office) revealed that they have recorded intense seismic activity near the Bardarbunga volcano, which is located under the ice cap of Vatnajökull glacier.

Seismologists say there has been a total of 1,155 earthquakes recorded on August 16 and 17 on the Icelandic subglacial stratovolcano.

The strongest temblor measured 3.8 on the moment magnitude scale or Richter magnitude scale.

While there has not been an eruption thus far, there has been strong indications of ongoing magma movement in the area.

Experts say the magma movement is shallower than 10 km underneath the second highest mountain in Iceland.

After taking all the information into consideration, the Met office raised the risk level for an eruption to orange.

Orange is the fourth level on a five-grade scale. The color code, which was put together by the International Civil Aviation Organization, gives status updates on 130 volcanic mountains in Iceland.

According to Met office seismologist Martin Hensch, if Iceland’s largest volcanic system does erupt, it will cause as much chaos as the Eyjafjallajokull volcano did in 2010.

Heavy and dangerous ashes from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, shut down much of Europe’s airspace for six days and cost almost $2 billion.

The eruption even forced President Barack Obama to cancel his plans/flight to attend the funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

Hensch believes that a major volcanic eruption would cause major flooding in the country.

The natural disaster would also impact Iceland’s hydroelectric power plants located near the volcano.

While the world is bracing itself for another volcano blast in Iceland, experts are still hopeful that it will be like September of 2010 when 30 earthquakes occurred near Bardarbunga and it never erupted.


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