Reykjanes: A volcano on Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula unexpectedly erupted on Monday at around 10:17 p.m. local time, following a string of minor earthquakes that had raised the area's alert level in recent weeks. The eruption was centered immediately north of the fishing village of Grindavik. While the Icelandic Meteorological Office stated that the eruption followed an earthquake swarm, a Coast Guard helicopter is on its way to confirm the precise position and magnitude of the eruption. The amazing spectacle of molten lava, which produced luminous orange jets and billowing clouds of red smoke, was captured on live-streaming video.
While acknowledging the significant scope of the eruption, Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir wrote on Facebook that she hoped for the best. According to the meteorological office, the volcano has created a fissure that is almost 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles) long, which is three times longer than Iceland’s most recent eruption over the summer. Weeks beforehand, authorities on high alert for an eruption evacuated thousands of tourists, and the iconic Blue Lagoon geothermal spa was closed.
The shrewd efforts to protect people and infrastructure in the face of this natural disaster were underlined by President Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson. There have been thousands of earthquakes recorded on the Reykjanes peninsula since October, which may be a sign of an impending volcanic eruption. Approximately 4,000 people were evacuated from Grindavik in November following the discovery of a moving magma tunnel beneath the region. According to airport operator ISAVIA, Reykjavik's international airport is still open as of right now. Despite initial worries about disruptions to worldwide travel, there have been no disturbances to arrivals or departures. With 33 active volcano systems, the most in Europe, Iceland is a frequent destination for eruptions. Even so, up until 2021, there had not been an eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in eight centuries.
Volcanologists say that since then, three eruptions have taken place, suggesting the beginning of a new phase of volcanic activity in the area. When the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, millions of travelers were left stranded amid countless flight cancellations, garnering international attention for Iceland. Situated in the North Atlantic and bordering the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the nation is highly susceptible to the geological processes that sculpt its topography. As demonstrated by the present eruption, Iceland's volcanic activity is dynamic and may continue to pose a threat shortly.
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