Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano eruption sparked a red alert for the aviation industry, meaning significant ash emissions are likely.
Iceland’s meteorological office has warned that a small eruption under an ice cap has begun at Bardarbunga.
The air space over the site has been closed, but all Icelandic airports currently remain open, authorities say.
Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, producing an ash cloud that severely disrupted air travel.
The red alert is the highest warning on the country’s five-point scale.
A team of scientists was flying across the region on Saturday afternoon to monitor seismic activity.
“The eruption is considered a minor event at this point,” police said in a statement.
“Because of pressure from the glacier cap, it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not.”
Bardarbunga is part of a large volcano system hidden beneath the 0.31-mile thick Vatnajokull glacier in central Iceland.
Authorities have previously warned that any eruption in the volcano could result in flooding north of the glacier.
On Wednesday, authorities evacuated several hundred people from the area over fears of an eruption.
The region, located more than 190 miles from Iceland’s Reykjavik, has no permanent residents but sits within a national park popular with tourists.
The move came after geologists reported that about 300 earthquakes had been detected in the area since midnight on Tuesday.
The Eyjafjallajokull eruption in April 2010 caused the largest closure of European airspace since World War Two, with losses estimated at between 1.5 billion and 2.5 billion euros.
Criticism following the strictly enforced shutdown resulted in the CAA relaxing its rules to allow planes to fly in areas with a low density of volcanic ash.
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