Home » Iceland, hot lava returns to threaten the Reykjanes peninsula. Citizens fleeing

Iceland, hot lava returns to threaten the Reykjanes peninsula. Citizens fleeing

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Iceland, hot lava returns to threaten the Reykjanes peninsula.  Citizens fleeing

There is a state of emergency again in southern Iceland, on the Raykjanes peninsula. According to what local authorities reported, it appears to be the most powerful, with the lava reaching the barriers east of the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated months ago.

Lava has erupted from a new volcanic fault on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, marking the fourth eruption in the area since December, authorities said. “A volcanic eruption has begun between Stora Skogfell and Hagafell on the Reykjanes peninsula,” the Icelandic Meteorological Institute (IMO) announced in a statement, as live video showed glowing lava and plumes of smoke. The Icelandic Civil Protection has announced the dispatch of a helicopter to locate the exact location of the new fissure.

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Minutes before the eruption, the Icelandic Meteorological Institute had issued a statement warning of seismic activity increasing the risk of a new eruption. According to local press, the fishing village of Grindavik began to be evacuated and residents received text messages urging them to quickly leave the area. Grindavik’s approximately 4,000 residents were allowed to return to their homes on February 19, after being evacuated on November 11. Grindavik, as well as the Svartsengi power plant and the geothermal tourist site Blue Lagoon, have been regularly evacuated since November.

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About 28,000 people live in this region, located in the south of the peninsula, one of the most densely populated in Iceland, about 40 kilometers southwest of Reykjavik. Grindavik had to be evacuated on November 11 after hundreds of tremors damaged homes and widely cracked roads, raising fears for the town’s future.

The earthquakes were followed by a volcanic fault on December 18, which spared Grindavik, then by a second eruption on January 14 on the outskirts of the city, which poured orange lava onto streets and reduced three houses to ash. On February 8, a third eruption near the same city was accompanied by a magma river of 15 million m3 during the first seven hours. Iceland is home to the largest number of active volcanoes in Europe: 33. The activity recorded since 2021 on the Reykjanes peninsula testifies to the awakening, after 800 years, of a long fault that allows magma to flow upwards, according to volcanologists.

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