REYKJAVIK (Iceland): Authorities evacuated hundreds of people after a volcano erupted beside a glacier in southern Iceland, Iceland's civil protection agency said on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The eruption occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday (7:30 p.m. EDT) beside the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, the fifth largest in Iceland. Authorities initially said the eruption was below the glacier, triggering fears that it could lead to flooding from glacier melt, but scientists conducting an aerial survey in daylight located the eruption and said it did not occur below ice.
Scientists can see lava flows in the one-km-long fissure, and authorities are watching for further activity.
Authorities evacuated some 450 people in the area 160 km southeast of the capital, Reykjavik.
A European volcanic island in the North Atlantic, Iceland is largely an arctic desert with mountains, glaciers and volcanoes and agricultural areas in the lowlands close to the coastline. The last time the volcano erupted was in the 1820s. — AP