April 20, 2010 / 7:31 AM / 9 years ago

Iceland dept says volcanic activity less fierce

Smoke rises from a volcano as it erupts near Eyjafjallajokull April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - The activity in an Icelandic volcano has fallen in recent hours, with less force behind the eruptions that have shut European airports and choked skies with a cloud of ash, the civil protection department said on Tuesday.

“We have some indications that the activity is decreasing. We have less ash fall, and also there seems to be a little less activity in the crater,” Rognvaldur Olafsson, the Icelandic department of civil protection’s chief inspector told Reuters.

“You have to choose your words very carefully but at least the scientists tell us that the activity is going down. We cannot make the assumption that the worst is over but we hope it is,” he said.

The volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, about 120 km (75 miles) southeast of the capital Reykjavik, has been erupting for almost a week, grounding flights and stranding travellers worldwide.

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