A volcano erupted near Iceland’s capital Reykjavik on Friday, capturing lava excessive into the night time sky after 1000’s of small earthquakes in current weeks.
The eruption occurred near Fagradalsfjall, a mountain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, round 30 km (19 miles) southwest of the capital.
Some 4 hours after the preliminary eruption at 2045 GMT – the primary on the peninsula because the twelfth century – lava coated about one sq. kilometer or practically 200 soccer fields.
“I can see the glowing red sky from my window,” mentioned Rannveig Gudmundsdottir, resident within the city of Grindavik, solely 8 km (5 miles) from the eruption.
“Everyone here is getting into their cars to drive up there,” she mentioned.
More than 40,000 earthquakes have occurred on the peninsula up to now 4 weeks, an enormous bounce from the 1,000-3,000 earthquakes registered every year since 2014.
The eruption posed no quick hazard to folks in Grindavik or to vital infrastructure, in accordance with the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), which labeled the eruption as small.
A fissure 500 to 750 meters (547 to 820 yards) lengthy opened on the eruption web site, spewing lava fountains as much as 100 meters (110 yards) excessive, Bjarki Friis of the meteorological workplace mentioned.
Residents within the city of Thorlakshofn, east of the eruption web site, had been informed to remain indoors to keep away from publicity to volcanic gases, Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management mentioned. The wind was blowing from the west.
Unlike the eruption in 2010 of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which halted roughly 900,000 flights and compelled a whole bunch of Icelanders from their houses, this eruption shouldn’t be anticipated to spew a lot ash or smoke into the environment.
Located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates, among the many largest on the planet, Iceland is a seismic and volcanic scorching spot as the 2 plates transfer in reverse instructions.
The supply of the eruption is a big physique of molten rock, often called magma, which has pushed its approach to the floor over the previous weeks, instigating the earthquakes.
The variety of quakes had slowed down in current days, nevertheless, main geologists to say that an eruption could be much less doubtless.
Reykjavik’s worldwide Keflavik airport was not closed following the eruption, however every airline needed to determine if it needed to fly or not, IMO mentioned.
Arrivals and departures on the airport’s web site confirmed no disruptions.