Volcano emits more ash, fresh closures expected

Volcano emits more ash, fresh closures expected

A plume of ash measuring up to seven kilometres high had been detected at the Eyjafjoell volcano, said a statement on  Thursday from the Icelandic Met Office and Institute of Earth Science.

"The eruption has changed back to an explosive eruption, lava has stopped flowing and most of the magma gets scattered due to explosions in the crater," said the statement in English.

"The ash plume rises high above the crater (4-7 km) and considerable ash fall can be expected in wind direction. No signs of the eruption ending soon."

The move prompted authorities to consider re-routing transatlantic flights and Ireland to shut airports for a third time this week.

"Ash production did increase last night and the ash plume is going higher now than the last couple of days," Agust Gunnar Gylfason, who monitors the eruption's progress at Iceland's Civil Protection Department, told AFP.

European airspace and airports across the continent were open on Thursday, but intergovernmental air traffic control agency Eurocontrol said the ash cloud could mean transatlantic flights might need to be re-routed.

"Significant re-routing of westbound transatlantic flights to avoid the higher contaminated area is currently being discussed between the air navigation service providers concerned and Eurocontrol," the Brussels-based body added.

The area where concentrations of ash could still pose a risk to aircraft engines was lying to the north and west of Ireland, it said.

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