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 Spectacular Lava Plumes

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

The Iceland Meteorological Office reported that a new fissure, stretching about 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) long, had opened up in the earth. This fissure is located between the Stóra-Skógfell and Hagafell mountains on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

For weeks, the Met Office had been alerting that magma, or semi-molten rock, was building up beneath the surface. This accumulation indicated that an eruption was on the horizon.

When the eruption commenced, hundreds were swiftly evacuated from the Blue Lagoon thermal spa. This spa is among Iceland’s most visited attractions, as reported by the national broadcaster RUV.

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

The eruption site is situated a few kilometers northeast of Grindavik. This coastal town, home to 3,800 people and located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, had previously been evacuated before the initial eruption in December. A handful of residents who had ventured back were evacuated once again on Saturday.

The town of Grindavik had to be evacuated back in November as well. This was due to the awakening of the Svartsengi volcanic system after nearly 800 years of dormancy. The awakening was marked by a series of earthquakes that resulted in large cracks forming north of the town.

The volcano first erupted on December 18, with lava flowing away from Grindavik. A second eruption that started on January 14 directed lava towards the town. Although defensive barriers, strengthened after the first eruption, managed to halt some of the lava, several buildings were still engulfed.

Both of these eruptions were relatively short-lived, lasting only a few days. A third eruption began on February 8 but ended within hours. However, it managed to engulf a pipeline in a river of lava, disrupting heat and hot water supply to thousands.

According to RUV, geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson described this latest eruption as the most powerful yet. The Met Office noted that some of the lava was heading towards the defensive barriers around Grindavik.

Iceland is no stranger to volcanic activity, situated above a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic. The country is well-versed in handling eruptions. The most disruptive eruption in recent memory was in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted. It released vast clouds of ash into the atmosphere, causing extensive airspace closures over Europe.

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