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Eyjafjallajokull volcano starting to blow again Katla signs

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05/28/2010 05:46 AM
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Eyjafjallajokull volcano starting to blow again Katla signs
Eyjafjallajokull volcano
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Katla Volcano In Iceland Shows Signs Of Increased Activity
National & World - National & International News

Fears are growing that the Katla volcano in Iceland could soon erupt after volcanic activity at the site increased by over 200% in recent days.

A report from the University College London (UCL) institute for risk and disaster reduction has outlined that "An eruption in the short term is a strong possibility”.

In its initial research paper it said: "Analysis of the seismic energy released around Katla over the last decade or so is interpreted as providing evidence of a rising ... intrusive magma body on the western flank of the volcano."

Seismic readings of the volcano indicate the tremors around the area have increased substantially.

Four earthquakes were detected near Katla during a 12-hour period on May 21st, more than at any other time since the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruptions first occurred in March.

Three earthquakes at the Katla Volcano were reported by the Disaster and Emergency website Hisz.rsoe.hu on Sunday evening. The tremors may have been due to ice movements within Mýrdalsjökull glacier or magma movement under the volcano.

The last earthquake to take place at the volcano was recorded yesterday morning.

The eruption of the long-dormant Eyjafjallajökull volcano has prompted fears among some geophysicists that it might trigger an eruption at the larger and more dangerous Katla. In the past 1,000 years, all three known eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull have triggered subsequent Katla eruptions. The last large eruption at Katla was in 1918 but there have been small eruptions at Katla as recently as 1955.

An eruption of Katla volcano has the potential to be more devastating than the current eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. Geophysicists at Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences say Katla would be locally and globally damaging.

Icelandic President Ólafur Grímsson has warned Governments around Europe that a significant eruption at the volcano is ‘coming close’. He said: "We [Iceland] have prepared ... it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption".

Leading betting organisation Paddy Power have today cut the odds on Iceland’s Katla volcano being the next volcano to erupt with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 3 or greater. Click here