In a dramatic turn of events, the Iceland volcano erupts on the Reykjanes peninsula. The volcano in Iceland erupted on Monday night, sending geysers of molten lava into the sky. The eruption followed weeks of heightened seismic activity in the region southwest of the capital.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported that Iceland Volcano erupted on Monday at approximately 10:17 pm (22:17 GMT), shortly after a series of small earthquakes known as an earthquake swarm. A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to confirm the eruption’s exact location and size, visible via nearby webcams.
Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir expressed hope while acknowledging the considerable nature of the eruption. “We hope for the best, but it is clear this is a considerable eruption,” she wrote on Facebook.
The Reykjanes peninsula had been on high alert for an eruption, prompting evacuations and the closure of the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in anticipation of the seismic activity. The meteorological office estimated the fissure to be approximately 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles) long, three times greater than the most recent eruption over the summer.
Live-streamed footage captured the mesmerizing display of glowing orange jets of lava emanating from a fissure in the ground, surrounded by billowing clouds of red smoke.
President Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson emphasized the priority of protecting lives and infrastructure, stating, “We now wait to see what the forces of nature have in store.” Despite concerns about potential disruptions to global travel, Reykjavik’s international airport remains open. ISAVIA, the airport operator, assured there were no disruptions to arrivals or departures at Keflavik airport.
Since October, thousands of earthquakes have been detected on the Reykjanes peninsula, leading to the evacuation of around 4,000 people from Grindavik on November 11. Residents reported damage to roads and buildings caused by the frequent small earthquakes. Iceland, known for its active volcanoes, has experienced three eruptions since 2021, with experts suggesting the possibility of a new era of volcanic activity in the region. The last eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula occurred eight centuries ago, making this recent event notable.
In 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption led to widespread flight cancellations and stranded millions of travelers. Iceland’s unique geographical position on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, straddling the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, contributes to its high volcanic activity. The Iceland Volcano erupts & is being closely monitored, with authorities emphasizing the safety of residents and preparedness for potential future developments in the region.