REYKJAVIK: A volcano erupted close to Iceland’s capital on Monday, the nation’s meteorological workplace stated, marking the third time in two years that lava has gushed out within the space.
Native media footage reveals an enormous cloud of smoke rising from the bottom in addition to a considerable movement of lava on the web site round 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Reykjavik.
In line with an AFP reporter, the smoke might be seen from the street connecting the capital to the worldwide airport, with vehicles pulled over and other people taking photos.
“The eruption is taking place in a small depression just north of Litli Hrutur (‘Little Ram’ in Icelandic) from which smoke is escaping in a north-westerly direction,” the meteorological workplace stated.
“There are three fissures with lava basically running in all directions,” Thorvaldur Thordarson, Professor in Volcanology at College of Iceland, advised AFP.
He added that the fissures are in complete round 200 to 300 meters lengthy and “it is a low intensity, effusive eruption.”
This implies “it’s not causing widespread threats due to explosive activity” however “if the eruption continues for long enough it could be a threat to infrastructure.”
Hundreds of small earthquakes had been recorded within the space within the week main as much as the eruption, signalling that the magma beneath the bottom was shifting and an eruption was imminent.
The Icelandic authorities suggested in opposition to going to the location, positioned in troublesome terrain with out street connection, earlier than they’ve assessed the state of affairs.
The magma broke by the bottom at round 1640 GMT, just some kilometres from two earlier eruptions within the final two years.
The primary was on March 19, 2021 within the Geldingadalur valley and lasted six months, whereas the second occurred on August 3, 2022 within the Meradalir valley, lasting three weeks.
Previous to the 2021 eruption, the area had remained dormant for eight centuries, however volcanologists imagine the brand new cycle of elevated exercise might final a number of years.
The effusive eruptions which have occurred on this space up to now haven’t been very harmful, nor have that they had any impression on air site visitors.
The 2021 and 2022 eruptions attracted tons of of 1000’s of holiday makers hoping to catch a uncommon glimpse of an lively volcano.
Thordarson stated the eruption might final anyplace from “a few days” to greater than half a yr like in 2021, and even longer.
Iceland has 33 volcanic methods at present thought-about lively, the very best quantity in Europe. It has an eruption each 5 years on common.
The North Atlantic island straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack within the ocean flooring separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
In April 2010, some 100,000 flights had been cancelled, leaving greater than 10 million travellers stranded, following the large eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
Different volcanoes, comparable to Askja within the uninhabited highlands of central Iceland, have lately proven indicators of exercise.
One of many nation’s most harmful volcanoes is Katla, close to the south coast. It final erupted in 1918, with an unusually lengthy pause suggesting an imminent reawakening.
The 1783 eruption of the Laki volcanic fissure within the south of the island is taken into account by some specialists to be probably the most devastating in Iceland’s historical past, inflicting its largest environmental and socio-economic disaster.
Between 50 to 80 % of Iceland’s livestock was killed, resulting in a famine that left 1 / 4 of the nation’s inhabitants useless.
The meteorological impression of the eruption additionally had repercussions for a number of years, with some specialists suggesting it could have performed a component in triggering the French Revolution.