A volcano in Iceland is erupting for the fourth time in 3 months, sending plumes of lava skywards

Iceland’s Volcano Erupts Again: Fourth Outburst in Three Months Launches Lava Skyward

In Grindavik, Iceland, a volcano burst into activity once again on Saturday evening. This marks the fourth eruption in just three months. Bright orange streams of lava lit up the night sky, creating a spectacular yet daunting scene.

The eruption caused a long crack, approximately 3 kilometers (almost 2 miles) in length, to form between the Stóra-Skógfell and Hagafell mountains on the Reykjanes Peninsula. This was reported by Iceland’s Meteorological Office.

For weeks, the Meteorological Office had been alerting the public about the increasing likelihood of an eruption. They noted that magma, which is semi-molten rock, was building up beneath the surface.

When the eruption commenced, hundreds of visitors at the Blue Lagoon thermal spa, a major attraction in Iceland, had to be evacuated. This was according to the national broadcaster RUV.

Despite the eruption’s proximity, no disruptions were reported at Keflavik, Iceland’s main airport.

The eruption site is located just a few kilometers northeast of Grindavik, a coastal town with a population of 3,800. This town is situated about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. Residents of Grindavik had previously been evacuated before the initial eruption in December and had to face evacuation once more on Saturday.

The awakening of the Svartsengi volcanic system in November, after nearly 800 years of dormancy, led to Grindavik’s evacuation. This was due to a series of earthquakes that resulted in significant ground fissures north of the town.

The volcano first erupted on December 18, with the lava flow initially moving away from Grindavik. A second eruption on January 14 directed lava towards the town. However, reinforced defensive barriers managed to halt some of the lava, although several buildings were lost to the flow.

Both of these eruptions were relatively short-lived. A third eruption on February 8 ended within hours, but not before a lava river had engulfed a pipeline, disrupting heat and hot water supply to thousands.

According to RUV, geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson described the latest eruption as the most intense so far. The Meteorological Office noted that some of the lava was heading towards the protective barriers around Grindavik.

Iceland, positioned over a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic, frequently experiences eruptions. The country is well-versed in handling such natural events. The most disruptive eruption in recent history was in 2010, when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted. It released vast clouds of ash into the atmosphere, leading to extensive airspace closures across Europe.

Fortunately, no deaths have been reported from the recent eruptions. However, there was a report of a worker going missing after falling into a fissure opened by the volcano.