ORLANDO — Penn State's game against Central Florida in Ireland could be in jeopardy thanks to an Icelandic volcano.
The risk of a volcano called Bardarbunga erupting has increased greatly in recent days. Scientists are concerned a major earthquake in the region may trigger an eruption soon, affecting flights to Europe.
Iceland's proximity to Ireland could make this a huge hurdle for the game between Penn State and UCF, scheduled for Aug. 30. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EDT.
In 2010, an Icelandic volcano erupted and triggered the cancellation of 100,000 flights in Europe. The ash from the volcano can cause problems for plane engines, prompting the decision to ground flights. Airlines have been unable to find alternative routes in the past, with similar volcanic activity preventing President Barack Obama from attending the funeral of a Polish president in 2010.
As a result of the current volcanic instability, the Icelandic Met Office reportedly has raised the risk level to flights to orange — the second-highest on a scale of five.
Bardarbunga sits below Iceland's largest glacier and reportedly has erupted more lava than any other volcano on the planet, according to the Volcanocafe blog. However, its last major eruption was more than 100 years ago. It is possible that an eruption could be funneled in a direction that would have no impact on air travel. A few live webcams are currently focused on the glacier.
Central Florida officials said the school is monitoring the situation.
Reporter Travis Johnson posted on Twitter that Penn State officials and the Gaelic Athletic Association also are aware of the volcanic activity and the related airline alert levels.