After 40,000 earthquakes in four weeks, volcano finally erupts in Iceland - Happy Boss

Happy Boss

Saturday, 20 March 2021

After 40,000 earthquakes in four weeks, volcano finally erupts in Iceland

 A long-dormant volcano near Iceland’s capital Reykjavik erupted on Friday (March 19), shooting lava high into the night sky after thousands of small earthquakes in the recent weeks.

The eruption occurred near Fagradalsfjall, a mountain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, around 30 km (19 miles) southwest of Reykjavik. This was the first eruption on the peninsula since the 12th century. 

The pensinsula has witnessed more than 40,000 thousand earthquakes in the past four weeks. This is a big jump from the 1,000-3,000 earthquakes recorded each year since 2014.

The initial eruption of the volcano occurred at 2045 GMT and after around four hours, lava covered about one square kilometer or nearly 200 football fields. 

“I can see the glowing red sky from my window,” Rannveig Gudmundsdottir, a resident was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“Everyone here is getting into their cars to drive up there,” added Rannveig, a resident in the town of Grindavik, only 8 km (5 miles) from the eruption.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) classified the eruption as small and according to them it posed no immediate danger to people in Grindavik or to critical infrastructure. 

A new video of the eruption at Geldingardalur valley in Reykjanes peninsula. Taken from the Coast Guard helicopter. #Reykjanes #Eruption #Fagradalsfjall

A fissure 500 to 750 meters (547 to 820 yards) long opened at the eruption site, spewing lava fountains up to 100 meters (110 yards) high, Bjarki Friis of the meteorological office said.

As the wind was blowing from the West, residents in the town of Thorlakshofn which was east of the eruption site, were asked to stay indoors so as to avoid exposure to volcano gases, said the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management of Iceland. 

Iceland is a located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates which are the largest on the planet. This makes the country a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions. 

Reykjavik’s international Keflavik airport was not closed following the eruption, but each airline had to decide if it wanted to fly or not, IMO said. 

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