Iceland’s Volcano Erupts for the Third Time in Just Two Months
Early Thursday morning, southwestern Iceland became the stage for a dramatic display of nature’s power as a volcano erupted, propelling lava jets soaring up to 80 meters high, according to reports from the country’s weather office.
The Icelandic Met Office reported that the seismic activity commenced around 5:30 a.m. northeast of Mount Sýlingarfell, with the eruption following approximately 30 minutes later at the same location.
Eruption Followed 30-Minute Earthquake Swarm
Images captured during a surveillance flight conducted by the Icelandic Coast Guard indicated that the eruption was occurring near the site of the December 18th eruption, officials confirmed.
This latest event comes in the wake of another eruption on January 14th, which resulted in the flow of lava into Grindavik, a small town that had been evacuated as a precautionary measure.
The eruption on Thursday, beginning around 6 a.m. local time, was preceded by a series of earthquakes rumbling through the region for approximately 30 minutes, according to meteorological officials.
The newly formed fissure stretches about 3 kilometers long, extending from Mount Sundhnúkur towards the eastern part of Mount Stóra-Skógfell, as reported by the Icelandic Met Office.
“The lava flows mostly towards the west at the moment, and the flow seems to be slightly less than at the start of the December 18th eruption,” the Met Office stated.
While initial concerns arose regarding the potential risk to the town of Grindavik, which had experienced devastation from the recent eruption, it appeared that the town might be spared this time, noted local politician Gisli Olafsson.
“This time a bit further North than the December eruption and further away from the town of Grindavik,” Olafsson shared on social media.
Blue Lagoon Closes Amidst Thursday’s Eruption
The nearby renowned geothermal spa, Blue Lagoon, announced its closure for the day on Thursday, as indicated on its website.
President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson took to social media, sharing a photo of billowing smoke with the caption, “view outside my residence as I woke up this morning.” He reassured that flights to and from Iceland remained unaffected by the eruption, and extended his thoughts to the residents of Grindavík, expressing hope for their swift return to normalcy.
“As before, our thoughts are with the people of Grindavík who cannot reside in their beautiful town,” President Jóhannesson remarked. “This too shall pass.”