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Iceland evacuates hundreds as volcano erupts again

Apr 14, 2010 7:00:00 AM - thestate.com
A volcano under a glacier in Iceland rumbled back to life Wednesday, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to leave their homes.

Emergency officials evacuated 800 residents from around the Eyjafjallajokull glacier as rivers rose by up to 10 feet (3 meters) and flooded a sparsely populated area, said Rognvaldur Olafsson, a chief inspector for the Icelandic Civil Protection Agency.

He said no lives or properties were in immediate danger.

The agency said commercial aircraft had reported seeing steam plumes rising from the glacier. There were no immediate signs of large clouds of volcanic ash, which could disrupt air travel between Europe and North America, and Iceland's international airport remained open.

A Coast Guard plane was flying over the area, which was obscured by heavy cloud.