The eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 disrupted the travel plans of over 10 million airline passengers after it spewed mineral ash into the air. This situation might happen again if the biggest Icelandic volcano erupts.
Experts have warned that the 6,591-foot (approx. 2,009-meter) tall Bárðarbunga volcano, the biggest volcano in Iceland, is “preparing” to erupt, and is expected to cause health and travel problems with the giant ash that it’s bound to spew.
It’s believed that the earthquakes that rocked the volcano last week have accelerated its next eruption.
But according to Volcanology expert Páll Einarsson of the University of Iceland, the volcano is not likely to erupt any time soon.
“The volcano is clearly preparing for its next eruption, that may happen in the next few years,” Einarsson told the Daily Star. “The earthquakes last week are just the symptoms of this process, they do not cause the volcano to erupt.”
However, it is “impossible” to predict the exact date the volcano will erupt, and hence authorities in Iceland have to prepare for a possible eruption.
“It is impossible to predict what the next eruption will be like, but statistics says it is most likely to be rather harmless. Very few people have died in Icelandic eruptions in the last centuries,” Einarsson said. “Of course we have to be prepared for larger and more disastrous eruptions, but they are not common.”
However, Dr. Simon Day of University College London told MailOnline that activity could “precede a large explosive eruption and consequent widespread ash fall.” However, he did add that such an outcome is “statistically unlikely.”
“It’s not very likely that the current activity will lead to an eruption breaking the ice or erupting along the rift zone,” he said.
Bárðarbunga’s last eruption happened between August 2014 to February 2015.