Iceland evacuates population near volcano ahead of possible eruption

The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP) announced on Tuesday that the authorities were evacuating the north of Vatnajokull to prepare against a possible eruption at Bardarbunga volcano in southeast Iceland.

The NCIP said in a statement that it has raised the Civil Protection level to Alert Phase as all roads leading into the area were closed, and the authorities in Husavik and Seydisfjordur were evacuating the area north of Vatnajokull.

A surveillance plane of the Icelandic Coast Guard has been ordered to monitor the volcano’s situation.

This decision was a safety measure, said the statement, adding the seismic activity in Bardarbunga might lead to a volcanic eruption.

Bardarbunga volcano, located under the 800m-thick Vatnajokull glacier, is 225km northeast from Reykjavik, capital of Iceland. Bardarbunga is Iceland’s second highest mountain at 2,000m above sea level.



Since the onset of the earthquake swarm at Bardarbunga on Saturday morning, about 2,600 earthquakes have been detected by the earthquake monitoring network of the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO).

IMO has raised the danger level from yellow to orange, which indicates the volcano showed heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption.

If the volcano erupts, a major flood fed by melting ice from the glacier could be expected to the north, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service reported.

There have been 48 eruptions in Iceland in last 100 years. The latest huge eruption happened in 2010, when the ash emission from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano forced an air travel disruption in Europe. - Xinhua