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Iceland Volcano Erupts

Ryan Faughnder |
May 21, 2011 | 4:24 p.m. PDT

Senior News Editor

Ash plumed into the sky over Iceland Saturday as the country’s most active volcano began to erupt for the first time since 2004, reports said. The volcano, called Grimsvotn, is situated underneath the Vatnajokull glacier.

Volcanic activity is not unusual in the country. The ash from another volcano last year stopped flights and grounded thousands of airline passengers. Scientists told news reporters that this eruption is unlikely to have such dramatic effects. 

The Associated Press report indicates how Iceland is officially viewing the situation:

Scientists have been expecting a new eruption and have said previously that this volcano's eruption will likely be small and should not lead to the air travel chaos caused in April 2010 by ash from the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.

Sparsely populated Iceland is one of the world's most volcanically active countries and eruptions are frequent.

They often cause local flooding from melting glacier ice, but rarely cause deaths.

The last Grimsvotn eruption sent ash 15 kilometers into to air. Some of it landed in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The BBC last year gave a breakdown of the network of volcanos in Iceland, including the so-called Angry Sisters.

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