The volcanic eruption still taking place in southern Iceland is being described as small and the amount of ash created is also small. Fears remain that the Fimmvorduhals eruption will trigger a much larger eruption at Katla.
The vast majority of the 600 evacuees have now been allowed to return home and roads have been re-opened. The volcano appears to have reduced the frequency and intensity of earthquakes in the area today, which is normal.
Geologists have been expecting an eruption under Eyjafjallajokull glacier for many weeks, but today’s eruption took place in an un-glaciated area between Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull in an area called Fimmvorduhals, which is one of Iceland’s most popular hiking trails.
There has been no volcanic activity at Fimmvorduhals for 10,000 years; but when eruptions take place at Eyjafjallajokull it is usual for Katla to follow suit. The last Eyjafjallajokull eruption was 189 years ago. Katla is underneath the Myrdalsjokull glacier and a large eruption there would likely cause massive flooding.
Geologists are monitoring the situation, but currently the danger level appears to have receded. Regular information is being updated on www.vedur.is and road closures can be followed on www.vegagerdin.is.