Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

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The blazing volcano eruption is one of the largest Iceland has had in years. (Image Credit: CNN)

A volcanic eruption occurred on the Reykjanes peninsula, an area in south-west Iceland, leaking molten rock at the town of Grindavík.

The eruption began at the north of Grindavík, a fishing town with a population of roughly 3,400 people, which is also 50 kilometers south-west of Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital. Before the eruption, there was a string of some small earthquakes. The earthquakes were then followed by lava 1,200 degrees Celsius hot, at a fissure of four kilometers long.

Fortunately, scientists had already been expecting a volcanic eruption for weeks prior, making the eventual eruption already much anticipated, with the authorities having already evacuated Grindavik.

The area was already active for over two years, with thousands of little earthquakes occurring there in previous weeks. The Blue Lagoon geothermal resort, a nearby tourist attraction also had to temporarily close, following an earthquake with a 4.8 magnitude hitting the area roughly a month previously.

Scientists also added there is no current chance of the lava reaching Grindavik or any nearby important structures such as power plants. However, scientists do warn in the future that this could change. The duration of the eruption is still unclear, as well as when residents can move back.

Sam Mitchell, a volcanologist at the University of Bristol, explained, “Even though the lava did not erupt into the town of Grindavík or at the nearby popular tourist destination Blue Lagoon, the lava flows are still only a few kilometers away and there is still concern of lavas reaching these key locations.”

Fagradalsfjall, the volcano that erupted, lay inactive for roughly 6,000 years, but recently stopped being dormant in March 2021, when its eruption attracted hundreds of people to the Reykjanes Peninsula to observe the month-long lava flow. Luckily, none of these recent eruptions will affect any flights, with experts saying it won’t have any effect. Scientists and forecasters say due to the location and features of this eruption, the eruption won’t likely produce ash or be of a disturbance.

Written by Kevin Han

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