AN ICELANDIC volcano has erupted for the second time this month as people were urged to evacuate only weeks after being allowed to return to their homes.
Iceland has been on high alert since the early hours of Sunday morning as the volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula spewed bursts of lava and sent huge plumes of smoke into the .
EPAA volcano erupted in Iceland just a month after the last one sending residents to evacuate[/caption]
The volcano spewed bursts of lava and sent huge plumes of smoke into the skyReuters
EPAThe eruption started at 3am near the fishing town of Grindavik[/caption]
AFPIceland is home 32 active volcanoes which were dormant for 800 years until 2021[/caption]
The eruption started near the fishing town of Grindavik, as lava flowed perilously close to homes that had to be evacuated before a huge eruption took place last month.
“A crack has opened up on both sides of the dikes that have begun to be built north of Grindavik,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office said.
The volcano started spewing bursts of lava at 3am and it is not clear which direction the lava is flowing, reported Iceland‘s public broadcaster RUV.
The evacuation order is expected to last three weeks which will cause a lot of disruption as the town plays home to a popular tourist attraction Blue Lagoon.
Authorities will be able to return to retrieve residents’ belongings in “exceptional circumstances”.
The dramatic footage of the disaster appears to show lava slowly flowing towards the fishing town of 3,800 people.
The most recent eruption seems to have breached the barriers of earth and rock that Iceland attempted to build in the last few weeks to keep lava from reaching Grindavik.
Iceland’s prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has admitted that today’s eruption was “frightening.”
She told local media: “The Civil Defense has of course been very keen to observe from day to day.
“Once again, I want to say that it was the right decision to evacuate tonight, even though we expected it wouldn’t happen until tomorrow.
“Of course, we have all eyes on this area to ensure the safety of the residents.
“However, it is quite clear that this is a huge burden for the townspeople. Naturally, the pressure is starting to take its toll on people.
“As the situation is now, we are seeing that the lava is flowing towards Grindavík.”
“The ramparts, however, may be useful even if the southern part of the fissure extends into them. We are monitoring the situation from minute to minute.”
Grindavik’s were residents had to move out to safety ahead of the largest volcanic eruption to date in their area when an earthquake swarm led to cracks and openings in the earth between the town and Slingarfell, a small mountain to the north.
Inhabitants of Grindavik described being whisked from their homes as the ground shook, roads cracked and buildings suffered structural damage in a devastating spell of bad weather.
They had to stay away from the town for six weeks following a series of earthquakes and were only allowed to return on December 22.
In the weeks since, defensive walls had been placed around the volcano in hopes of directing the magma away from the community.
But the walls of the barriers built north of Grindavik have been breached and lava is on the move toward the community, the meteorological office said.
Iceland is seen as a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates – Eurasian and North American – move in opposite directions.
Reykjanes peninsula is home to 32 active volcanoes which were dormant for 800 years until 2021.
Since then, Iceland saw five eruptions, with the biggest one in December 2023.
EPAThe dramatic footage appears to show lava flow in the direction of the town[/caption]
APA view of the plume of gas lighted up by the lava from the erupting volcano seen from Suðurstrandavegur, the road that leads to Grindavík[/caption]Leave a comment