Toxic Gases from Eruption Go up Six Kilometers

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Eruption

Toxic Gases from Eruption Go up Six Kilometers

Gases are being emitted from the lava in the Holuhraun eruption.

Gases are being emitted by the lava. Photo: Jóhannes Benediktsson.

Toxic gases from the Holuhraun eruption have been measured at altitudes of up to 6 km (4 miles). Mostly they contain sulfur dioxide, which can have a poisoning effect. Up to now 40 million cubic meters (1.2 billion cubic feet) of lava have flowed out of the craters in Holuhraun.

Being at the eruption site can be dangerous and when Iceland Review’s crew was there yesterday an order came for immediate evacuation. The area has been closed for tourists from day one and restricted for journalists.

Baldur Bergsson, a geographer at Iceland Met Office, told RÚV that the danger from toxic gases was the greatest the first two days of the eruption. Then scientists found some effects of the gases, such as a sting in eyes and lungs. Now all scientist must have gas masks with them and gas-detecting meters are on all the time.  

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