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Iceland Braced for Volcano Eruption that Could Disrupt Air Traffic

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:30:15 +0000

iStock/Thinkstock(REYKJAVIK, Iceland) -- Iceland has canceled many commercial flights for fear that its volcanoes might erupt soon since at least 2,600 small intense earthquakes have rocked the country since Saturday, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said on its website.

Iceland has raised its aviation alert level to orange -- the second most serious level on the five-color scale, indicating an active or imminent eruption.

In April 2010, volcano eruptions rocked Eyjafjallajökull, a small ice cap in Iceland, leading to more than 100,000 flights canceled. More than 10 million passengers were affected due to the eruption and the airline industry lost $2 billion.

Volcano eruptions are a threat to jetliners because the volcanic ash can travel high into the atmosphere and the ash can severely damage jet engines.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office's live update said there are no signs of magma moving to the surface at the moment.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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