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Volcanic eruption in Iceland: – On emergency alert

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Volcanic eruption in Iceland: – On emergency alert

On Saturday evening, a new volcanic eruption started in Iceland, reports say the Icelandic Meteorological Institute. Images in Icelandic media on Sunday morning show glowing lava spurting out of the ground.

– A volcanic eruption has started between [fjellene] Stóra-Skógfell and Hagafell on Reykjaneshalvøya, writes the institute.

The civil defense has now been put on emergency alert as a result of the outbreak, according to the Icelandic national broadcaster Ruv.

– This seems to be a bit more powerful than the last eruption and probably the most powerful so far in this series of eruptions, geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson told Ruv tonight.

After a helicopter ride over the eruption, he states that the volcanic fissure is approximately 3.5 kilometers long and with a lot of activity.

In the past, there has been around half an hour’s warning before a volcanic eruption, but this time it came on suddenly, geologist Børge Johannes Wigum tells TV 2.

– What was special about tonight was that you didn’t get any warning, he says.

– MOST POWERFUL SO FAR: A new volcanic eruption broke out in Iceland on Saturday evening. The eruption is more powerful than the previous ones. Photo: Marco di Marco / AP / NTB Show more

Can reach the sea

The authorities had prepared that the lava could reach the roads Grindavíkurveg and Suðarstrandarveg, and then possibly reach the sea.

During the night it has reached Grindavikurveg, and on Sunday morning it is around 900 meters away from Suðarstrandarveg, writes Ruv. The latter is consequently closed, according to NTB.

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There are fiber cables on both roads, and if these are broken, it can cause disruption to telecommunications. Einer Bessi Gestsson of Iceland’s Meteorological Institute said earlier that the lava could potentially reach the sea.

If the lava flows into the sea, there can be explosions, and dangerous gases can be formed.

– Then there can be small explosions that pose a danger near the lava flow that goes out to sea, in addition to dangerous gases being formed when the sea and the lava meet. It creates danger near the lava and a few hundred meters around, says Gestsson.

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– Evacuate

According to the newspaper The morning paper residents of the town of Grindavík, which has been hit hard by the previous outbreaks, have received text messages from the authorities asking them to evacuate once again.

The Blue Lagoon, which is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, has now been evacuated due to the eruption, according to Ruv.

There must have been around 700 people there when the evacuation started.

Several earthquakes have been reported in the area, they report.

EVACUATED: The well-known spa has now been evacuated as a result of the outbreak. Photo: John T. Pedersen / Dagbladet Show more

More outbreaks

In recent days, the institute has reported an increasing amount of magma under Svartsengi, near Grindavík.

– An outbreak can occur with very little warning, possibly within 30 minutes, they wrote yesterday.

The small town of Grindavik is located on the Reykjanes peninsula in the south-west of Iceland, and there have been a number of volcanic eruptions in the area in recent months.

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The roughly 4,000 inhabitants of Grindavik have been evacuated several times, and in February several houses were destroyed when the lava flow reached the settlement.

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