Iceland prepares for "volcano from hell"

Iceland continues to prepare for a possible volcanic eruption.

Bardarbunga volcano, buried under one of Europe's largest glaciers, is rumbling to life. Tuesday morning, it was hit by a 5.7-magnitude quake.

"This could be the volcano from hell," said CBS News contributor and City University of New York physics professor Michio Kaku. "To quote Yogi Berra, 'It's deja vu all over again.' Remember the paralysis from four years ago? Millions of passengers being stranded with the threat of airplanes falling from the sky?"

In 2010, a volcanic eruption in Iceland created an ash cloud nine miles high. The plume spread across Europe, grounding 100,000 flights, affecting 8 million travelers and costing airlines $1.7 billion.

Kaku says this eruption could happen within the next few days, especially considering the latest earthquake.

"We have a new threat, and just this morning, a 5.7 earthquake rumbled across the glacier, so scientists are very concerned that a volcanic eruption could soon be happening. Maybe in the next few days, they're not sure."

Because the volcano is located under a glacier, Kaku says the resulting ash would be more hazardous to air travelers.

"This is not an ordinary volcanic eruption," he said. "You have fine magmatic dust in the air. It could potentially cut through a glacier--freezing--causing a gasifie,d rocky, pebbly cloud to arise, and that gets in to an engine and chews up the gears, chews up the blades. So this ash coming out is not typical ash. That's why ice volcanoes are more dangerous than typical volcanoes."

While the aviation alert issued for the eruption was downgraded from red to orange, Kaku says the threat is still prominent.

"Over the weekend they had 3,000 small earthquakes, tremors all the time. So it went to red alert; eruption is eminent," Kaku said. "But scientists finally tracked the motion of magma. Magma is building up under the ice, but it hasn't reached the surface yet. That's why we're back down from a red to an orange. But remember, sometimes it can be a dud. Sometimes the magma never does reach the surface, but were not taking that chance this time."

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