UPDATE – FALSE ALARM: Seems some meteorologist or other jumped the gun a bit declaring an eruption, there is none going on right now and we will keep you posted on how that develops.
A small eruption is underway a fissure in Dyngjujökull, north-east of Bárðarbung, according to an interview with Kristín Jónsdóttir at the iceland Metorological office, in the local paper Morgunblaðið. As yet it is a minor event but preparations are being made for the eventuality of escalation. The Jökulsárgljúfur and Dettifoss areas are being evacuated and shut down. Air traffic alertness has been raised from orange to red and flying is forbidden in a large area around the event.
The county sheriff of Húsavík says evacuation plans are in process, which is the first step in preparation for a possible escalation of the event. There’s not enough information yet to decide whether Kelduhverfi or Öxarfjörður will be evacuated but everyone is ready for when the decision will be made. He says the number of tourists is 1-200 in the area north of the evacuation zone.
Víðir Reynisson with the Civil Protection Office says preparations are underway for a state of emergency. The event is minor but uncertain how it will develop. The TF-SIF observation airplane is in the air and will be observing the glacier.
People are encouraged to be on their guard, pay attention to broadcasts, and keep their mobile phones on. Kristín says there’s no ruling out a larger eruption. There is considerable tectonic drift and it’s noticeable on GPS measurements. Every day you can observe magma flowing into the fissure. Possibly the developments will be similar to the eruptions of Krafla 1975-84 where fissures and cracks opened over an area of tens of kilometres.