April 21, 2024

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A volcano erupts in Iceland, leading to the evacuation of the Blue Lagoon

A volcano erupts in Iceland, leading to the evacuation of the Blue Lagoon

Halldor Kolbens/AFP/Getty Images

Reykjavik's skyline is set against an orange sky due to molten lava flowing from a fissure on the Reykjanes Peninsula north of the evacuated town of Grindavik, western Iceland on March 16, 2024.



CNN

World famous Iceland Blue lake The nearby town of Grindavik was evacuated on Saturday after a volcano erupted on the country's Reykjanes Peninsula, Icelandic public broadcaster RÚV reported.

Lava appears to be flowing rapidly toward the north of the town of Grindavik, just as it did during the eruption on February 8, RÚV said, citing the Icelandic Meteorological Office. RUV later reported that lava was also flowing towards Grindavíkurvegur Road – the main road to Grindavik.

“The fissure is about three kilometers long [about 1.9 miles]It extends from Stóra-Skógfell towards Hagafell.

RUV added that Iceland's main international airport, Keflavik Airport, and other regional airports remain fully operational. However, volcanic gas is expected to be detected in the town near the airport on Sunday, RUV reported.

Marco DeMarco/AFP

Spectators watch plumes of smoke from volcanic activity between Hagafell and Stóra-Skógfell in Iceland on March 16, 2024.

The current eruption is the strongest in the recent sequence of seismic activity, geophysicist Magnus Tommy Gumundsson told RUV after returning from a helicopter flight over the site.

The fissure, now very active, runs from the north side of Hagafell and north to Stóra-Skógfell, Gumundsson said. It was estimated to be about 3.5 kilometers wide.

“Based on the speed of the lava flow,” Gumundsson estimated, “it won't be long before it flows over the Grindavikorvegur Road.”

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Earthquakes in Grindavik clearly follow the same pattern as since October, with frequent magma flows sometimes reaching the surface, geophysicist Pall Einarsson told RÚV. Einarson added that previous explosions “were powerful, and lasted for a short time, but they were powerful while they lasted.”

Halldor Kolbens/AFP/Getty Images

People on the outskirts of Reykjavik take photos of the orange sky as molten lava flows from a crack on the Reykjanes Peninsula north of the evacuated town of Grindavik, western Iceland, on March 16.

Located less than an hour's drive from Iceland's capital and largest city, Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.

The site is part of the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland, a thick finger of land that points westward into the North Atlantic Ocean from Reykjavik. In addition to the Blue Lagoon, the peninsula is home to Iceland's main international airport, Keflavik.

Iceland is one of the most active volcanic regions on the planet. Instead of a central volcano, the Reykjanes Peninsula is dominated by a rift valley, with lava fields and cones.

Marco DeMarco/AFP

Smoke plumes from volcanic activity between Hagafell and Stóra-Skógfell in Iceland on March 16, 2024.

The lake was evacuated earlier in March Due to seismic activity. And in November it was Closed for a week After 1,400 earthquakes were measured within 24 hours.

This is a developing story and will be updated.