Despite the sudden surge in the VIX, market observers remain relatively calm.

“It feels bad, but volatility is not anywhere as high as we had in August, and stocks aren’t anywhere near as low on an absolute level,” George Hashbarger Jr., a portfolio manager at BPV Capital Management, told the Wall Street Journal.

When China devalued its currency and sent markets into free-fall back in August, the VIX surged to a 53 reading, its highest level since March 2009.

iPath S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN

Max Chen contributed to this article.