New volcanic eruption in Iceland

New volcanic eruption in Iceland

Updated 22.15 | Published 21.43




full screen Archive image from the volcanic eruption in Grindavík in Sudurnes earlier last winter. Photo: Marco Di Marco/AP/TT

Iceland has been hit by a new volcanic eruption. According to the Icelandic public service company Rúv, the eruption started between Hagafell and Stóra-Skógfell in Sudurnes, the same region that previous eruptions ravaged during the winter.

Images from a live broadcast show glowing lava and billowing smoke.

Iceland’s meteorological authority sent out a warning at 20:22 of increased seismic activity between the two areas and that there was an increased risk of a volcanic eruption.

A minute later, the eruption started, Rúv reports.

A helicopter will investigate the scene.

The country’s meteorological authority already wrote last Friday that an eruption could occur at very short notice, and that it would most likely occur between the heights of Stóra-Skógfell and Hagafell.

The outbreak is the fourth to hit the area since December. The nearby town of Grindavík has been evacuated several times due to the risk of volcanic eruptions. Several houses in the city were destroyed by the progress of the lava in February.

FACT Volcanic Iceland

The boundary between the North American and Eurasian continental plates runs right through Iceland.

The location means that Iceland has an extremely high amount of geological activity. For example, a volcanic eruption in the 18th century led to the death of a quarter of the population.

Most of the time, however, the eruptions are minor, and do not cause major consequences if they occur in sparsely populated, mountainous parts of the country. But modern society is sensitive in new ways – when Eyjafjallajökull on Iceland’s south coast spewed ash over Europe in the spring of 2010, air traffic was disrupted for up to several weeks.

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