Iceland raises Bardarbunga volcano alert to orange

Last updated at 07:50
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Volcano expert Dr Ian Stimpson explains what's going on

Scientists in Iceland have warned that one the country's biggest volcanoes is showing signs it may erupt.

They've issued an "orange" alert, the second-highest level, meaning there's "increased potential of eruption".

If the Bardarbunga volcano erupts, it could lead to flooding or might throw out clouds of gas, the experts say.

Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, producing an ash cloud that caused huge problems to Europe's airlines, grounding many flights.

a plume of ash rises from the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, Iceland, Tuesday, April 20, 2010MILA HO
Eyjafjallajokull was the culprit of the 2010 ash cloud

Hundreds of thousands of passengers were stranded in airports for several days as planes were not allowed to fly across much of Europe.

'Strongest earthquake'

Earth tremors began in the area at the Bardarbunga volcano on 16 August, and there was a strong earthquake there early on Monday, officials said - the strongest quake seen for 18 years.

While "there are no signs of eruption," they can't rule out the possibility that one might occur - and if it did, there might be an ash cloud spewed into the sky.

Iceland's volcanic experts are continuing to keep a close eye on the area.