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Volcano Erupts Again, As Floods It Triggered Begin To Recede

Thu., Nov. 7, 1996

A volcano beneath Europe’s largest glacier erupted again Wednesday, just as flooding brought on by an earlier eruption began to recede.

Ash spewed 12,000 feet in the air for 20 minutes Wednesday afternoon, just south of the site of last month’s 11-day eruption, the Morgunbladid newspaper said. Ash spread south over the uninhabited Vatnajokull glacier for about three miles.

Scientists had anticipated the latest eruption once tons of water finally found their way out from under the glacier and reduced the pressure on the volcano, the newspaper said.

Flood water gushing from beneath the glacier receded Wednesday morning after inflicting heavy damage to roads and bridges along Iceland’s south coast. The melted glacier water had built up in a vast pool that finally burst Tuesday.

“One bridge has totally disappeared,” said Hraenn Haraldsson, director of research and development for the National Road Department. Two other bridges were damaged.

“In just four hours, this has knocked us back 20 to 30 years in terms of our road-building endeavors,” Prime Minister David Oddson said.

The water was pouring into the ocean along the south coast about 140 miles east of Reykjavik.


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