UCF, Penn St. Ireland opener threatened by volcano

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Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 3:47 pm | Updated: 3:48 pm, Fri Aug 22, 2014.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — UCF's season opener in Ireland next week against Penn State may be in peril because of a possible volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Iceland's Civil Protection Department said Wednesday that about 500 people were evacuated from the highlands part of the Vatnajokull glacier. The action was taken as a precaution following thousands of small earthquakes recently near Bardarbunga, a sub-glacial stratovolcano under the glacier.

UCF departs for Ireland Aug. 26 for its Aug. 30 game. Athletics spokesman Andy Seeley said school officials are monitoring the situation.

Iceland is separated from Ireland by the Atlantic Ocean and about 900 miles, but a volcanic eruption in Iceland could produce volcanic ash and potentially affect flights to Europe. More than 100,000 flights were cancelled following the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano.

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