A small sub-glacial volcanic eruption has started near Bardarbunga volcano, under the icecap of Dyngjujökull glacier in the northern part of Vatnajökull glacier, according to the Icelandic Met Office. All air traffic is now prohibited in a large radius around the volcano.
The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has raised the alert phase to emergency phase accordingly. Furthermore, the Met Office has raised the aviation color code from orange to red resulting in the air space above the eruption site being closed.
The eruption is considered a minor event at this point. Because of a pressure from the glacier cap it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not.
The Coast Guards aircraft, TF-Sif, is currently monitoring the area and there are no visible signs of a plume at this moment. Nothing indicates floods because of the eruption.
At this stage measurements taken are based on a small event. The Jökulsárgljúfur canyon has been closed and evacuation of tourists in that area and around Dettifoss waterfall has started. The situation at this stage does not call for evacuation of habitants in Kelduhverfi, Öxarfjördur and Núpasveit. People in those areas are encouraged to watch news closely and have their mobiles switched on at all times.
This story, by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), was updated on 23 August 2014, at 15.13 GMT.