Volcano erupts for fifth time in six months in Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula | EUROtoday

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A brand new volcano erupted on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Wednesday, spewing fountains of red-hot lava into the air shortly after authorities evacuated the close by city of Grindavik.

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A big white cloud of smoke may very well be seen billowing up towards the blue sky, with orange lava fountains effervescent out of a crack within the floor close to Sundhnukagigar, north of Grindavik.

The eruption was the fifth in six months on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Two hours after the beginning of the eruption, lava was flowing lower than a kilometre from a defensive barrier defending the fishing village of Grindavik, the barrier itself positioned about one other kilometre from the northern tip of the city.

Most of the 4,000 residents had evacuated Grindavik in November, previous to a December eruption.

Lava flowed into the city’s streets throughout one other eruption in January, engulfing three properties.

Read extraHouses catch fireplace as volcano erupts in southwestern Iceland

While the massive share of those that had been within the city on Wednesday — for work or visits — left instantly, a number of die-hard residents refused to go away, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management stated on its Facebook web page.

“Despite recommendations from response teams to leave the town, three residents remain in Grindavik. Such actions are not advisable,” it stated.

Maia Biegatch, a 28-year-old French vacationer, had simply arrived on the Blue Lagoon when the eruption occurred.

“We received alerts on our phones telling us to ‘evacuate, evacuate’, so we turned back,” she informed AFP.

“It was a total surprise.”

The eruption was, nevertheless, not anticipated to disrupt air site visitors, with the worldwide airport Keflavik “open and operating in the usual way”, airport operator Isavia stated on its web site.

“The eruption cloud reached an altitude of about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) at the beginning of the eruption” and the size of the fissure was estimated at over one kilometre, the Iceland Meteorological Office stated shortly after the eruption started at 12:46 pm (1246 GMT).

Around 90 minutes later, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management stated the fissure had prolonged to three.4 kilometres.

The lava movement was heavy, estimated at between 1,500 and a pair of,000 cubic metres per second, the IMO stated.

The eruption got here virtually three weeks after the tip of a earlier eruption that had been ongoing since March 16.

In the previous six months, volcanoes have erupted on the peninsula in December, January, February and March.

‘400 earthquakes’

The IMO had reported “intense earthquake activity” previous to Wednesday’s eruption, with “about 400 earthquakes” measured previously seven days close to the Sundhnukagigar crater row.

In addition, it stated some 20 million cubic metres of magma had collected within the magma chamber beneath Svartsengi, the place an influence plant that provides electrical energy and water to round 30,000 individuals on the peninsula is positioned.

The Svartsengi plant was evacuated and has largely been run remotely for the reason that first eruption within the area in December, and boundaries have been constructed to guard it.

Molten lava flows from a fissure on the Reykjanes peninsula, north of the town of Grindavik, in western Iceland, on March 16, 2024.
Molten lava flows from a fissure on the Reykjanes peninsula, north of the city of Grindavik, in western Iceland, on March 16, 2024. © Ael Kermarec, AFP Archives

Until March 2021, the Reykjanes peninsula had not skilled an eruption for eight centuries.

Further eruptions occurred in August 2022 and in July and December 2023, main volcanologists to consider the beginning of a brand new period of seismic exercise within the area had begun.

Iceland is house to 33 energetic volcano methods, the very best quantity in Europe.

It straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack within the ocean ground separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.