August 2016– ICELAND – Two unusually large earthquakes hit one of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes early on Monday, raising concerns of a possible eruption, the Icelandic Met Office said. The Katla volcano has not erupted properly since 1918 and scientists say it is overdue to do so, although an eruption could still be decades away. “It is quite a dynamic situation now, in the next hours and days following this, but as we speak at the moment we do not see any signs that there is an imminent hazardous unrest about to happen,” Matthew Roberts, a natural hazards scientist at the Icelandic Met Office, said.
Ash from an eruption of the nearby Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe’s airspace for six days. Katla, in southern Iceland, was rocked by quakes of magnitude 4.5 and 4.6 overnight. The volcano sustained similar movements in 2011. The volcano is covered by an ice cap, which should, in the event of an eruption, typically contain the lava for around 60 to 90 minutes, giving time to alert the population and international air traffic, Roberts said. –Reuters
Volcano could soon erupt:The Icelandic Meteorological Office is on alert for a possible eruption from the country’s largest volcano, Katla, after two earthquakes rattled the region. The volcano, which stands at 1,500 meters (nearly 5,000 feet) tall, hasn’t had a major eruption since 1918. Scientists say Katla usually erupts once every 50 years. Two magnitude 4.5 earthquakes shook the area early Monday morning. The meteorological office confirmed an increase in seismic activity in recent weeks and said it was monitoring the situation.
An eruption is not imminent, scientists said, but they can’t rule it out. “Such summertime increases in seismicity are common at Katla and the ongoing activity within the caldera is similar to summertime unrest observed in 2012 and 2014,” the office said. Measurements around Katla are not detecting signs of increased ground deformation or seismic tremor, both of which could be indicators of magma movement.” In 2010, Katla’s neighboring volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, caused chaos across Europe and shut down most of the continent’s airspace. Thousands of flights were grounded because of the volcanic ash following its eruption. –CNN