The Icelandic Met Office has downgraded the aviation alert for Bardarbunga, from red to orange, meaning that eruption is not imminent. Subglacial eruption is not thought to have occurred yesterday. Seismic activity is still strong and the dyke intrusion in Dyngjujokull has propagated to the north.

Icelandic Met Office (IMO) said this around 12.00 GMT, after a meeting with scientists and the Civil Protection Agency. The aviation alert was raised yesterday to red, but has now been downgraded to orange. Observations show that a sub-glacial eruption did not take place yesterday as previously thought and the low-frequency seismic signal observed has other explanations.

The dyke intrusion under Dyngjujokull, north and east of the Bardarbunga caldera has however been propagating to the north, and is now believed to be about 30 kilometers long. A 4.2 earthquake was detected there this morning, along with numerous other quakes. Since midnight, more then 700 quakes have been detected in the area. IMO says no indication that the seismic activity is slowing down; therefore an eruption can not be excluded.

Two strong earthquakes occurred in the Bardarbunga caldera last night and this morning (Magnitude 5,3 and 4.6). These quakes are associated with pressure changes in the magma chamber beneath the caldera as magma flows out to the intrusion.

The Civil Protection Agency (CPA) declared an emergency phase yesterday and extended the restricted area north of Vatnajokull. CPA will reassess the situation later today.