The Icelandic Civil Protection Department decided yesterday to lower the preparedness level by one point, from emergency to danger level, because of the volcanic eruption on the Fimmvörduháls mountain pass in south Iceland.
The eruption site seen from air in late March. Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.
Activity at the eruption site has gradually been decreasing in the past days. The craters no longer spurt lava into the air, as aerial pictures that were taken yesterday confirm. There is now only a faint glow in the center of the craters, Morgunbladid reports.
GPS measures show that the uplift of land which occurred before the eruption has gone back to normal in some areas.
However, geophysicists say it is too early to declare that the eruption is over. History shows that volcanoes can cool for a while but then start erupting again, as in the case of the 1963 underwater eruption which created the island Surtsey.
The eruption on Fimmvörduháls is considered similar in character to the Surtsey eruption.
There are still limitations on traffic in the eruption area. No one is allowed to enter the actual eruption site within a one-kilometer radius around the crater.
All traffic on the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and in the canyons where lava has flowed, Hrunagil and Hvannárgil, is banned.
Click here to read more about the eruption.