Iceland Raises Aviation volcano Alert To Red  

Iceland's Meteorological Office says a subglacial eruption is underway at the Bardarbunga volcano, which has been rattled by thousands of earthquakes over the past week.

Vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said seismic data indicates that lava from the volcano is melting ice beneath the Vatnajokull glacier. She said it was not clear when, or if the eruption would melt the ice and send steam and ash into the Air.
Minutes earlier, Iceland raised its Aviation Alert for the volcano to the highest level of red on Saturday, indicating an eruption that could cause significant emission of ash into the atmosphere. Red is the highest alert warning on a five point scale.

The alert means that all Air Traffic in the area is banned.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said a Flight from London Heathrow to San Francisco was rerouted away from the volcano as a precautionary measure.

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Safety and security is always our top priority,he said.
All other Virgin Atlantic Flights continue to operate as normal, but we are advising all customers to visit our website for the latest information.
We continue to closely monitor the situation and we are in ongoing dialogue with all of the relevant authorities.
A spokeswoman for NATS, the UK's air traffic control organisation, said NATS is monitoring the situation and working in close collaboration with the Met Office, Department for Transport and our safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, as this dynamic situation develops further.

She added that NATS will help determine what impact the eruption will have for operations in UK airspace and advise airline customers accordingly.
Scientists had planned to fly over the glacier later Saturday to look for changes on the surface but it was not clear if that would still take place.

A spokesman for budget Airline easy Jet said it is putting its contingency plans into action following the red alert, using specialist technology to ensure any ash created by the eruption is detected and chartered.
easyJet will use this and other data provided by the authorities to determine what, if any, changes it should make to its flying programme.

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