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Sat, 20 Mar 2021 09:00:00 +0000
A volcano erupted near Iceland's capital Reykjavik on Friday, shooting lava high into the night sky after thousands of small earthquakes in recent weeks
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Montevideo, March 20th 2021 – 10:00 UTC
A volcano erupted near Iceland's capital Reykjavik on Friday, shooting lava high into the night sky after thousands of small earthquakes in recent weeks.
The eruption occurred near Fagradalsfjall, a mountain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, around 30 km southwest of the capital.
Some four hours after the initial eruption at 2045 GMT – the first on the peninsula since the 12th century – lava covered about one square kilometer or nearly 200 football fields.
“I can see the glowing red sky from my window,” said Rannveig Gudmundsdottir, resident in the town of Grindavik, only 8 km from the eruption.
“Everyone here is getting into their cars to drive up there,” she said.
More than 40,000 earthquakes have occurred on the peninsula in the past four weeks, a huge jump from the 1,000-3,000 earthquakes registered each year since 2014.
The eruption posed no immediate danger to people in Grindavik or to critical infrastructure, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), which classified the eruption as small.
A fissure 500 to 750 meters long opened at the eruption site, spewing lava fountains up to 100 meters high, Bjarki Friis of the meteorological office said.
Residents in the town of Thorlakshofn, east of the eruption site, were told to stay indoors to avoid exposure to volcanic gases, Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said.
The wind was blowing from the west.
Unlike the eruption in 2010 of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which halted approximately 900,000 flights and forced hundreds of Icelanders from their homes, this eruption is not expected to spew much ash or smoke into the atmosphere.
Located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates, among the largest on the planet, Iceland is a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions.
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Iceland volcano Iceland volcano
Sat, 20 Mar 2021 09:00:00 +0000
A VOLCANO near Iceland's capital of Reykjavik erupted on Friday evening, oozing out streams of molten lava that lit up the night sky
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The Iceland volcano reared its ugly head last night after staying dormant for nearly 800 years.
The eruption went off at Geldingadalir near Fagradalsfjall mountain on Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland.
Thousands of earthquakes rocked the region since February, leading geologists to speculate magma was rushing to the surface.
The eruption at Fagradalsfjall went off on Friday, March 19, at about 8.45pm GMT.
A magnitude 3.1 earthquake was recorded about a mile away from Fagradalsfjall just hours before the eruption.
Although the eruption was minor, all things considered, oozing streams of lava have covered about one square kilometre.
According to volcanologists at Volcano Discovery, the eruption began with a 500 to 700m fissure splitting the ground wide open.
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The website said: “The new eruption is located near Geldingadalir, around the centre of the recent dike intrusion of magma that has formed under the peninsula over the recent weeks.
“It started very quietly with almost no seismic activity when finally, a fissure opened, reaching around 500 to 700m length.
“The monitoring Icelandic Met Office (IMO) first became aware of the eruption from local reports of visible glow in the area about half an hour after the onset of activity.
According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the eruption spewed jets of molten rock up to 100m into the sky.
Rannveig Gudmundsdottir, who lives in Grindavik, only five miles from the eruption, said the lava bathed the night sky with a red glow.
She added: “Everyone here is getting into their cars to drive up there.”
However, the police and coastguard have advised people to stay away from the area.
There is no threat to life at present but two lava flows are streaming from the eruption site.
Volcano Discovery said: “The location of the eruption near Geldingadalir is in an area with very little infrastructure potentially at risk, something Icelandic authorities likely are happy about.”
A live stream of the eruption is being hosted on YouTube, filmed a safe distance from the volcano.
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You can watch the live stream in the embedded video player above.
Earlier last night, the stream showed an ominous red glow on the horizon.
In the foreground, you could see the night lights of an Icelandic town.
As of 8.53am GMT, the stream has turned to white – likely blown out by direct sunlight.
There have been no reports of ashfall from the eruption which will come as a sigh of relief to Iceland’s residents.
When the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, the blast grounded flights all across Europe for weeks.
This time around, Volcano Discovery said: “The Keflavik airport is not affected by the eruption and the no-fly zone over the eruption area does not contain Keflavik.
“Unless the eruption dynamic changes significantly, something not expected for the immediate future, there should be no disruptions of air traffic.”
However, a no fly zone has been established in the area and the aviation code over Reykjanes has been changed to RED.
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– March 20, 2021
Iceland volcano 2021 Volcano erupts in Iceland with lava spewing fountains of up to 100 .