Iceland volcano “quietens down”

Iceland volcano “quietens down”

The Icelandic volcano that has brought chaos to air travel across Europe appears to be quietening down, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Experts say steam is continuing to rise from Eyjafjallajokul but no ash, with scientists from the Met Office and the University of Iceland classing the eruption as “dormant” yesterday.

Jonsson Thorsteinn, an Icelandic Met Office forecaster, said: “The volcano appears to be dormant, the activity has been going down for the last two days and at the moment there is nothing coming out… no magma.”

Measurements with a heat camera from the test flight indicated that the temperature at the crater was just under 100°C, and confirmed that the volcano was now spouting steam instead of ash, Thorsteinn said.

Civil Protection Agency official Iris Marelsdottir said: “Now we can only wait and see. It’s too early to say this is over, but at the moment it is quiet.”

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However, scientists warn that the volcano could erupt again and that it was impossible to predict when.

“There is still something going on inside, some tremors, it is possible it could erupt again, but when is a question nobody can answer,” said Jonsson Thorsteinn.
Eyjafjallajokul’s eruption was the first in nearly two centuries.

The last time the volcano erupted, in 1821, it carried on and off for almost two years, and included periods of dormant activity similar to what is happening now.

The closure of northern European air space last month grounded an estimated 10 million air passengers worldwide, and is estimated to have cost the airline industry £1.2bn in lost revenue.