Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano is no longer in activity, a geophysicist said today, raising hopes the eruption which has heavily disrupted European flights for more than a month could be over.
‘What I can confirm is that the activity of the crater has stopped. No magma is coming up’ Magnus Gudmundsson of Iceland University told AFP.
‘The eruption, at least for the time being, has stopped. Now there is only steam coming out of the crater," he said, cautioning however that "it is too early to tell whether this is the end of the eruption or just a temporary stop in activity."
The volcano, which began erupting on 14 April, will be monitored very closely in the days and weeks to come, Gudmundsson said.
Experts have cautioned that once the current eruption halts, a new blast in another crater or in the neighbouring and much larger and fiercer Katla volcano might follow.
When or if that will happen is, according to Gudmundsson, ‘impossible to say.’
In recent days, experts had said the activity at the Eyjafjoell volcano, which peaked for a third time just over a week ago, had slowed significantly.
During Eyjafjallajokull's highest activity peak in the week after it began erupting, it released ash enough to cause thousands of flights across Europe to be grounded.
The Irish Aviation Authority has welcomed the news that the Icelandic volcano has stopped erupting.
However, a spokesperson said that until a volcano is inactive for 21 days, it cannot be said that it is completely inactive.
He said the hope is for a continuous service in terms of flights in and out of Ireland.
The volcano is erupting about a tenth of what it was a number of weeks ago.