Eruptions in Iceland and Papau New Guinea capture the world's attention
Friday, August 29, 2014, 7:03 PM -
Aviation officials are on high alerts as not one, but two volcanoes are in the process of erupting.
Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red Friday after a small fissure eruption near Bardarbunga volcano, but no volcanic ash was detected by the radar system.
The eruption took place the Holuhraun lava field, 5 km north of Dyngjujoekull glacier, Iceland's Meteorological Office said. The event was described as being not highly explosive -- and thus not producing much of the fine ash that can affect aircraft engines.
The airspace was closed three nautical miles around the eruption area up to 1,524 metres -- meaning it did not affect commercial flights flying over Iceland.
The aviation code for Bardarbunga was originally raised to red -- meaning that an eruption was underway -- but was lowered to the lesser orange level as there was no significant ash production, the Civil Protection Department said.
The so-called fissure eruption was a crack that opened up above a magma intrusion. It didn't produce any significant ash.
Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea, East New Britain Island’s Mount Tavurvur, one of the region’s most active, began spewing lava early Friday morning, spurting ash tens of thousands of feet into the sky.
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The eruption of Mount Tavurvur on the island of New Britain began early Friday, said Craig Earl-Spurr, a meteorologist at the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Australia.
The volcano spewed a thick tower of ash that reached as high as 60,000 feet above sea level.
Dramatic photos posted on social media showed Tavurvur belching fire and ash from across a bay.
The volcano is situated only a few kilometers from the township of Rabaul. In 1994, Tavurvur erupted at the same time as nearby Mount Vulcan, destroying Rabaul.
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With files from CNN and The Associated Press