Iceland volcano erupts; sparks concerns of larger eruption at nearby volcano
No immediate reports of injuries or damages from Iceland volcano eruption but scientists worry of larger eruption at nearby Katla volcano.
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"This is the best possible place for an eruption," said Tumi Gudumundsson, a geologist at the University of Iceland.Skip to next paragraph
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There hasn't been an eruption near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier since 1821.
The Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration ordered aircraft to stay 120 nautical miles away from the volcano area, essentially closing it off because visibility is low in some areas. Reykjavik appeared to be unaffected with clear visibility.
All domestic flights were canceled until further notice, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service reported.
Three Icelandair flights from the U.S. — departing from Seattle, Boston and Orlando, Florida — bound for Keflavik airport in Reykjavik were turned back to Boston, leaving about 500 people waiting, the airline said.
Flights to Stockholm, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt were scheduled to leave Sunday morning but a flight to Oslo was canceled and passengers were being rerouted. The airline expected further delays throughout Sunday.
First settled by Vikings in the 9th century, Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice because of its volcanos and glaciers.
In the mid 1780s, the Laki volcano erupted, prompting scores to die of famine when livestock and crops were destroyed. During the Middle Ages, Icelanders called the Hekla volcano the "Gateway to Hell," believing that souls were dragged below. Hekla is Iceland's most active volcano.