April 12, 2024

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Iceland is in a state of emergency after the fourth volcanic eruption in 3 months  Volcanoes

Iceland is in a state of emergency after the fourth volcanic eruption in 3 months Volcanoes

Icelandic police declared a state of emergency on Saturday after lava rose from a new volcanic fissure on the Reykjanes Peninsula, the fourth eruption to hit the region since December.

A statement from the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said: “A volcanic eruption has begun between Storey-Skojfell and Hagafell on the Reykjanes Peninsula.” Live video images showed glowing lava and billowing smoke.

Iceland's Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management announced that it had sent a helicopter to narrow down the exact location of the new fissure. The authority also said that the police declared a state of emergency due to the volcanic eruption.

According to the International Maritime Organization, it occurred near the same location as a previous eruption on February 8. The lava appears to be flowing south towards the dikes built to protect the fishing village of Grindavik.

Just after 22:00 GMT, the southern lava front was only 200 meters high. [656 feet] She added: “From the barriers located on the eastern side of Grindavik and moving at a speed of about one kilometer per hour.”

National broadcaster RUV said that hundreds of people were evacuated from the Blue Lagoon thermal resort, one of Iceland's most important tourist attractions, when the eruption began.

No flight disruptions were reported at Iceland's main nearby Keflavik Airport.

The site of the eruption is a few kilometers northeast of Grindavik, a coastal town of 3,800 people located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, which was evacuated before the initial eruption in December. A small number of residents who returned to their homes were evacuated again on Saturday.

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Grindavik was evacuated in November when the Svartsinji volcanic system was awakened after nearly 800 years by a series of earthquakes that created large fissures in the ground north of the city.

Eventually, the volcano erupted on December 18, sending lava flowing away from Grindavik. The second eruption, which began on January 14, sent lava toward the city. Defensive walls reinforced after the first eruption stopped some of the flow, but the lava consumed many buildings.

Both explosions lasted only a few days. A third eruption began on February 8. It then fizzled out within hours, but not before a river of lava engulfed a pipeline, cutting off heat and hot water to thousands of people.

RUV quoted geophysicist Magnus Tommy Gudmundsson as saying that the latest eruption is the most powerful yet. The IMO said some lava was flowing toward defensive barriers around Grindavik.

Iceland, which sits above a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic Ocean, experiences regular eruptions and is highly experienced in dealing with them. Most destructive in recent times was the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, which spewed huge clouds of ash into the atmosphere and led to widespread airspace closures over Europe.

No confirmed deaths have been reported as a result of any of the recent eruptions, but a worker was declared missing after falling into the fissure opened by the volcano.