Scientists to evaluate Icelandic volcano eruption

March 22, 2010
Molten lava vents from a rupture near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, as a volcano erupts early Sunday March 21, 2010, seen in this aerial photo. some hundreds of people have been evacuated from a small village in southern Iceland on Sunday after a volcanic eruption which shot ash and molten lava into the air, the first major eruption here in nearly 200 years. (AP Photo/Ragnar Axelsson )

(AP) -- Scientists are flying over southern Iceland to evaluate whether it's safe for people to return to their homes after a volcanic eruption.

Saturday night's eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull - which is located near a glacier of the same name - shot ash and molten lava into the air and forced nearly 500 people to evacuate. Some were allowed to return home late Sunday, but residents of 14 farms nearest to the eruption site were not.

The eruption caused both domestic and international flights to be canceled because of the threat of airborne volcanic ash. By Monday, flights were returning to normal.

The last eruption near this glacier came in 1821 - a so-called "lazy" eruption that lasted slowly and continuously for two years.

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