A volcano southwest of Reykjavikcapital of Icelandentered into rash this Monday afternoon. This is the third time in three years that the fagradalsfjall it begins to spew lava and captures the attention of visitors and locals who do not hesitate to come closer to appreciate the phenomenon, from a prudent distance.
“The eruption occurs in a small depression just to the north of the (mount) Little Hruturfrom which smoke comes out in a northwesterly direction,” said the Meteorological Institute (IMO) in a statement in which it specified, in turn, that it occurred from a fissure.
Shortly after the eruption, at approximately 4:40 p.m., the civil protection service issued alert orders and urged the population to stay away from the peninsula of Reykjanes.
“Gas contamination is high in the area of the eruption and is dangerous. We call on travelers not to enter the area until the authorities have had the opportunity to assess the conditions”, added the Institute while President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson wrote on his Twitter account: “At the moment we are observing the spectacle from a safe distance, admiring mother nature”.
The smoke could be seen from the road that connects the capital with the Keflavik International Airport.
Until this Tuesday, the authorities had not recorded material damage and air traffic from the nearby airport was not affected either. Even the experts reported that the eruption was subsiding considerably although they maintained that the reduction of gas pollution had not yet reached safe levels for the presence of people.
“It has become a small rashwhich is very good news,” said Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, professor of geophysics at the University of Iceland.
Volcanologists expected a third eruption from this volcano since, in recent days, the lava had come a few meters below the surface, which indicated that its exit was imminent.
To this was added that, one day before, on Sunday night, a earthquake of magnitude 5.2 shook the surroundings of the volcano and a large part of the country.
In the past, the area had already experienced other eruptions. Without going any further, the last one dates from 2022 and, the previous one, of 2021. None of these caused damage or disrupted passing flights.
In any case, compared to the current one, the latter was initially more explosive, with incandescent lava flows and gas clouds coming out of a 900-meter-long crack.
At the moment, it is unknown what the duration of the phenomenon would be, which has been sustained for weeks in the past.
“Of course it could go on for a long time, but luckily it’s not a continuation of what we saw in the first few hours,” added Tumi Guðmundsson.
In 2021, the eruption lasted for six months while, in 2022, it was three weeks.
Iceland sits on a volcanic fault line in the North Atlantic, causing it to experience an eruption every four to five years or so.
The largest, in recent times, occurred in 2010 after the outbreak of Eyjafjallajokull whose ash clouds forced several European countries to close their airspace.
(With information from AFP, EFE and AP)
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