Iceland's Grimsvoetn volcano eruption over: official

The eruption of Iceland's Grimsvoetn volcano is considered over as there has been no activity there for more than two days, experts and officials said Monday.

"We can't see any signs of anything but that the eruption is over. There has been no activity on our equipment since Saturday morning at 7:00 am (0700 GMT)," Steinunn Jakobsdottir, a geologist with Iceland's Meteorological Office, told AFP.

Iceland's Department of Civil Protection also announced an end to the eruption.

"The eruption has stopped and we will be removing the precautionary label that had been assigned to Grimsvoetn... There is no longer a danger (preparedness) level," Gudrun Johannesardottir, a department spokeswoman, told AFP.

Iceland's most active volcano, located at the heart of its biggest glacier, Vatnajoekull, began erupting on May 21, spewing a column of smoke and ash as high as 20 kilometres (12 miles) into the air.

But the plume quickly declined and by last Wednesday had all but stopped emitting ash.

The eruption raised fears of a repeat of the air travel chaos caused by a blast at the nearby Eyjafjoell volcano, which led to the world's biggest airspace shutdown since World War II, affecting more than 100,000 flights and eight million passengers.

Despite spewing out more ash in 24 hours than Eyjafjoell did in three weeks, Grimsvoetn caused far fewer disruptions, with the number of flights grounded due to its ash counted in the hundreds.

Experts however warn that more massive flight disruptions due to ash from Icelandic volcanos could be on the horizon, pointing out that several of the country's volcanos appear to coinciding cycles that will lead to an increase in eruptions in coming years.

After Eyjafjoell and Grimsvoetn, Hekla and not least Katla, which is considered the most dangerous of the small North Atlantic island's more than 100 volcanos, could be next, experts say.

str-bur/nl/co

 

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