Ragnar Axelsson  /  ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this aerial photo, showing molten lava as it vents from a rupture near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, as a volcano erupts early Sunday March 21, 2010. 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 )
updated 3/21/2010 11:20:58 AM ET 2010-03-21T15:20:58

A volcano erupted near a glacier in southern Iceland, shooting ash and molten lava into the air and forcing the evacuation Sunday of hundreds of people from nearby villages.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, but a state of emergency was declared and scientists feared the eruption could trigger a larger and potentially more dangerous eruption at the Katla volcano.

The Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration ordered aircraft to stay 120 nautical miles away from the volcano area due to low visibility in some areas.

All domestic flights were canceled until further notice, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service reported, but Reykjavik appeared to be unaffected with clear visibility.

Three Icelandair flights from the U.S. — departing from Seattle, Boston and Orlando, Florida — bound for Keflavik airport in Reykjavik were turned back to Boston, leaving about 500 people waiting, the airline said.

Flights to Stockholm, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt were scheduled to leave Sunday but a flight to Oslo was canceled and passengers were being rerouted. The airline expected further delays throughout Sunday.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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