Just eight months after its last eruption officially ended, a volcano in southwest Iceland started erupting once again, the country’s meteorological authorities said Wednesday.
The volcano is about 40 kilometers from Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik, near the site of the Mount Fagradalsfjall volcano in south-western Iceland, which erupted over the course of six months from March to September 2021.
Aerial footage showed lava and smoke spewing from a fissure on the side of the Fagradalsfjall mountain. Tourists and residents should avoid the area due to poisonous gases, although there was no immediate risk of damage to critical infrastructure, Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said in a statement.
Iceland, located above a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic, averages an eruption every four to five years.
The most disruptive in recent times was the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which sent clouds of ash and dust into the atmosphere, interrupting air travel for days between Europe and North America because of concerns the ash could damage jet engines. More than 100,000 flights were grounded, stranding millions of passengers.
‘Reuters’ gives us the latest update on this story:
A volcano has erupted on a mountain near Iceland’s capital Reykjavik after days of rising earthquake activity in the area, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said on Wednesday.
Images and livestreams by local news outlets MBL and RUV showed lava and smoke spewing from a fissure in the ground on the side of the Fagradalsfjall mountain, which last year saw an eruption that lasted six months.
Tourists and residents should avoid the area due to poisonous gases, although there was no immediate risk of damage to critical infrastructure, the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management said in a statement.
A “code red” was declared to prohibit airplanes from flying over the site although helicopters were sent in to survey the situation, the IMO told Reuters.
If the outbreak was confirmed to be similar to the fissures seen last year, the aviation alert would likely be lowered to orange, signalling less danger, an agency spokesperson said.
“Currently, there have been no disruptions to flights to and from Iceland and international flight corridors remain open,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Watch the volcano activity here:
Bjorn Steinbekk documented the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption during the six months in which it took place just 40 km from Iceland’s capital Reykjavik.
This is a bird’s eye view of the crater.
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