TIME Iceland

Threat Level of Iceland Volcano Raised

Lava Lady Captures Spectacular Eyjafjallajokull Eruption
Eyjafjallajokull erupts, producing a cloud of vapor on May 10, 2010 in Iceland. Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Iceland raises Bardarbunga volcano threat level alert to orange

Correction appended, Aug. 19

In 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted, costing airlines billions of dollars in canceled flights. Now, another volcano in the country may be ready to do the same.

The Bardarbunga volcano’s eruption threat level was raised to orange Monday, the second-highest level. When the Eyjafjallajokull erupted four years ago, the ash cloud that resulted disrupted European airspace for six days, canceling 100,000 flights, affecting 10 million travelers and costing the airlines almost $2 billion, according to Bloomberg News. Though ash may not necessarily cloud the sky, its chemicals can damage aircraft engines.

The threat level went up after an earthquake hit the area where the volcano is located on Monday, the strongest the Bardarbunga region has experienced since 1996. Another eruption would likely lead to either flooding or an emission of gas, the Icelandic Met Office said in a statement.

“Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission,” the Met Office said.

Correction: The original version of this story misidentified the Bardarbunga volcano.

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