A small new fissure eruption at Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano system prompts the highest aviation warning - but no ash, only lava is coming out of the fissure. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A small new fissure eruption in an ice-free area of Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano system prompted authorities to raise their warning of the risk of ash to aviation to the highest level on Sunday (August 31). Iceland's largest volcanic system, which cuts a 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) swathe across the North Atlantic island, has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert. In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, in a different region of Iceland, closed much of Europe's air space for six days. In a statement, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said the eruption was a "very calm lava eruption" that could hardly been seen on seismometers. There was no ash, only lava according to the National Crisis Coordination Center. The eruption began around 0600 GMT prompting the Icelandic Met Office to raise the aviation warning code to red for the Bardarbunga/Holuhraun area, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said in a statement. Red is the highest level on a five-color scale and indicates that an eruption is imminent or under way, with a risk of spewing ash. Iceland's aviation authorities have declared a danger area which reaches from the ground to 6,000 feet around the volcano.