A protracted-dormant volcano erupted on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula on Friday, taking pictures a fountain of lava that lit the night time sky roughly 19 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of the nation’s capital, the Icelandic Meteorological Workplace reported Friday. The eruption, estimated to be the peninsula’s first in nearly 800 years, follows weeks of elevated seismic exercise within the area.
“The eruption is taken into account small at this stage and the eruptive fissure is app. 500 m [546 yards] lengthy. The magma space is app. 1km2. [0.4 square miles],” the IMO stated in a tweet. “Lava fountains are small.”
The company later tweeted a video of the eruption’s aftermath taken from a Coast Guard helicopter, which you’ll take a look at in all its terrifying glory beneath.
The eruption occurred close to the Fagradalsfjall mountain and started round 4:45 p.m. ET on Friday, blasting lava as much as 109 yards (100 meters) into the air, Bjarki Friis of Iceland’s meteorological workplace advised Reuters. The IMO first noticed the eruption with a webcam it put in near the mountain, which it then confirmed by way of thermal satellite tv for pc imagery. Hours later, the company stated the lava seemed to be flowing “slowly to the southwest and west.” The glow of the lava could possibly be seen from the outskirts of Iceland’s capital metropolis, Reykjavík.
Whereas native authorities stated they didn’t imagine the eruption poses a right away risk to close by cities, they advised residents to shut their home windows and keep indoors to keep away from doubtlessly inhaling volcanic fuel ejected from the fissure. The Icelandic police additionally urged people to keep away from the eruption website in the interim as first responders proceed to evaluate the state of affairs.
Greater than 40,000 earthquakes have hit the area previously 4 weeks, Reuters studies. The peninsula noticed roughly 400 earthquakes on Thursday morning alone, and a number of other low-frequency earthquakes had been recorded beneath Fagradalsfjall earlier within the day on Friday, based on the IMO.
Iceland is among the most volcanic nations on the planet. Of its roughly 130 volcanoes, roughly 30 stay lively. The Reykjanes Peninsula has remained comparatively calm after sputtering on and off in a collection of main eruptions between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, however scientists started bracing for potential eruptions after the area’s price of earthquakes sharply elevated in 2019.