Volcano in Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, Erupts

Volcano in Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, Erupts

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Volcano in Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, Erupts

Spectacular helicopter shots show the eruption on the island’s coast. Image: ICELANDIC MET OFFICE.


Volcano in Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, Erupts.

Following weeks of severe seismic activity, a volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland has erupted.

The fishing hamlet of Grindavik had around four thousand people evacuated earlier, and the adjacent Blue Lagoon geothermal spa was shut down.

Starting at 22:17 local time (22:17 GMT), the eruption began north of the town, according to the Icelandic Met Office.

Since the end of October, there has been an uptick in earthquake activity in the area surrounding Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

According to the Met Office, the seismic activity was heading towards the town of Grindavik and the eruption was situated approximately 4km (2.5 miles) northeast of it.

Lava erupted from the volcano within an hour of the detection of an earthquake swarm, according to social media images and videos.

From Reykjavik, around 42 kilometres (26 miles) northeast of Grindavik, one may observe the eruption.

According to an eyewitness who spoke with the BBC, half of the sky towards the town was “lit up in red” due to the eruption, and smoke was visible pouring into the sky.

The police have issued a warning, asking the public to avoid the area.

According to the Met Office, the 3.5-kilometer-long fissure in the volcano is spewing lava at a rate of 100 to 200 cubic meter per second.

Furthermore, it was noted that this was far higher than the eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula in the past few years.

In an interview with national television RUV, a senior Civil Defense police official described the eruption as “quite a large event” that had occurred rapidly.

According to Vidir Reynisson, a big fissure in the volcano seemed to be releasing lava in every direction.

“There are no disruptions to flights to and from Iceland, and international flight corridors remain open,” foreign minister Bjarni Benediktsson of Iceland wrote on X (previously Twitter).

“The jets [of lava] are quite high, so it appears to be a powerful eruption at the beginning,” according to him.

Last month, as a precaution, authorities ordered the population of Grindavík to evacuate, and Iceland has been on high alert for what may be a volcanic explosion for weeks.

As of 08:00 GMT, there were no reports of injuries.

The greatest closure of European airspace since WWII occurred in April 2010 due to an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption, and the anticipated damages ranged from 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion euros (£1.3-2.2 billion; $1.6-2.7 billion).

The volcanoes in southwest Iceland are “physically not able to generate the same ash clouds,” according to volcanologist Dr. Evgenia Ilyinskaya, who told the BBC that the amount of disruption would be lower than in 2010.

Approximately 140 kilometers (87 miles) separate the volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula from the Eyjafjallajokul in southern Iceland.

The local population has been “fearing and waiting for” the volcano to erupt, according to Dr. Ilyinskaya, an associate professor of volcanology at Leeds University, who was speaking from Iceland.

A great deal of doubt pervaded. According to her, the locals had a tough time during that times.

She went on to say that the government was getting ready for lava flows that might obliterate houses and infrastructure, including the Blue Lagoon, a famous tourist spot.

“At the moment it seems not to be threatening, although it remains to be seen,” according to her.

The prime minister of Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdottir, recently stated that the newly built defences will be beneficial.

Though the “significant event” had occurred, she expressed her hope for the local community and her thoughts were with them.

While protecting lives was paramount, President Gudni Johannesson assured the public that buildings would also be protected to the best of his ability.

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