Volcanic eruption disrupts Iceland air traffic

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March 19 (UPI) — A volcanic eruption near Reykjavik on Friday paused inbound and outbound air traffic at Iceland’s largest airport, local officials said.

The volcano — Fagradalsfjall — is located about 20 miles southwest of the capital and about 12 miles southeast of Keflavik International Airport. It erupted Friday evening.

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The Icelandic Meteorological Office warned residents of the possibility of falling rocks and boulders, and landslides. Officials urged people to avoid the eruption site.

“We ask people to stay calm and not under any circumstances go close to the eruption site or on Reykjanesbraut,” police said. “First responders need to be able to drive freely to assess the situation. Scientists are working on assessing the eruption.”

Thousands of minor earthquakes have plagued the Reykjanes peninsula in recent weeks. A 3.1-magnitude temblor struck less than a mile from Fagradalsfjall hours before it erupted.