Iceland volcano erupts, spares Grindavik as lava flows away

Iceland witnessed a significant volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of the country. The eruption, which occurred late on Monday, sent lava and smoke soaring over 100 meters into the air.

Publication: 19.12.2023 - 15:17
Iceland volcano erupts, spares Grindavik as lava flows away
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Despite the dramatic scene, the lava flow appears to be diverting away from Grindavik, the nearest town, offering relief that homes and lives might remain unharmed. This eruption follows weeks of intense seismic activity in the region.

The Icelandic government has allayed fears of international travel disruptions, reminiscent of the 2010 ash cloud crisis on the island. Officials confirmed that the current eruption poses no threat to life and has not disrupted flights to and from Iceland. The international flight corridors remain open, ensuring that global travel remains largely unaffected by this natural event.

Grindavik, a fishing town located about 40 kilometers southwest of the capital Reykjavik, was evacuated last month due to seismic tremors, affecting nearly 4,000 residents. Though the eruption has not directly impacted the town, residents like Hans Vera, who have been hoping to return permanently, find themselves in uncertainty. Vera, originally from Belgium and living near Grindavik since 1999, expressed his disappointment at potentially missing spending the Christmas holidays in his home, which he describes as a winter paradise.

Volcanic Fissure Opens, But Town Remains Safe

The eruption has resulted in a 4-kilometer-long fissure. However, its southernmost point is still 3 kilometers from Grindavik, according to Iceland's Meteorological Office. Geologist Bjorn Oddson explained that the eruption is north of the watershed, directing the lava flow away from Grindavik. Live footage of the eruption captured by Reuters highlighted the stark contrast of bright yellow, orange, and red lava against the sky, showcasing nature's awe-inspiring yet daunting spectacle.

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