Airlines on Red Alert as Iceland Volcano Begins to Erupt

The AP reports that Icelandic authorities have declared a no-fly zone over Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, which began erupting today under the ice of the Vatnajokull glacier.

Throughout the last week, thousands of small earthquakes caused magma movement within the volcano that suggested it could erupt at any point.

The Civil Protection Department reported that scientists who flew over the ice cap saw no signs of eruption at the surface level, but authorities still raised the aviation alert to red due to the threat of "significant emission of ash into the atmosphere." From the AP:

Icelandic authorities declared a no-fly zone of 100 nautical miles by 140 nautical miles around the eruption as a precaution, but did not shut down air space over most of the island nation in the North Atlantic.

Spokeswoman Olof Baldursdottir told the AP that "all airports are open and flights are on schedule."

[image via AP]