Declare an uncertainty level due to glacial flood in Grímsvötn

Specialists are expecting an eruption to occur in Grímsvötn in …

Specialists are expecting an eruption to occur in Grímsvötn in a matter of hours or days. Photo/The Icelandic Coast Guard

The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has declared an uncertainty level of civil protection due to the glacial flood in Grímsvötn.

This is done in consultation with the police chief in South Iceland, as stated in a notice from the Civil Protection. It states that the Icelandic Met Office estimates that the maximum flow will not exceed 1,000 cubic meters per second, based on the amount of water that has been collected in Grímsvötn.

A petition to tourists east of Mt Grímsfjall

As mbl.is first reported this morning, a glacial outburst flood has started in Grímsvötn and a volcanic eruption is therefore considered likely.

Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson, professor of geophysics at the University of Iceland, told mbl.is earlier today that a volcanic eruption in Grímsvötn would be an explosive eruption, which would most likely disrupt air traffic.

The Icelandic Civil Protection says that travel routes east of Mt Grímsfjall can be very dangerous due to formation of fissures and craters. Therefore, they ask tourists to be careful in this area.

Flight color code turned yellow

The flight colour code above Grímsvötn had been raised to yellow due to the glacial outburst flood, meaning that the volcano shows signs of activity beyond normal.

This morning, the largest earthquake since the beginning of the measurements was detected in Grímsfjall, which measured 4.3 in magnitude.

A volcanic eruption is likely to occur within the next few hours or days, if it happens.

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