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, the night sky was illuminated by the vibrant orange glow of erupting lava this Saturday evening. This marked the fourth eruption within a span of three months, showcasing nature’s untamed beauty and power.

The eruption carved open a fissure stretching nearly 3 kilometers (almost 2 miles) across the landscape, nestled between the Stóra-Skógfell and Hagafell mountains on the Reykjanes Peninsula. This dramatic event was anticipated by Iceland’s Meteorological Office, which had been monitoring the buildup of magma beneath the surface, signaling an imminent eruption.

As the earth split open and lava began to flow, hundreds found themselves evacuating the Blue Lagoon thermal spa, a jewel among Iceland’s tourist destinations. This evacuation was prompted by the eruption’s onset, as reported by the national broadcaster RUV.

Despite the dramatic scenes, operations at Keflavik, Iceland’s primary airport located nearby, continued without interruption.

The eruption’s epicenter was situated a short distance northeast of Grindavik. This coastal town, home to 3,800 residents and located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of the capital Reykjavik, had previously been evacuated in December before the first eruption. Some residents who had ventured back were faced with evacuation once more on Saturday.

The awakening of the Svartsengi volcanic system in November, after nearly 800 years of dormancy, led to Grindavik’s initial evacuation. This awakening was heralded by a series of earthquakes that tore open large fissures in the ground to the north of the town.

The volcano’s first eruption on December 18 directed lava away from Grindavik. However, a subsequent eruption on January 14 threatened the town with lava flows. Despite the construction of reinforced defensive walls after the first eruption, which managed to halt some of the lava, several buildings were lost to the encroaching molten rock.

These eruptions were relatively short-lived, with both concluding within days. A third eruption on February 8 was brief yet impactful, as it resulted in a lava flow that severed a pipeline, cutting off heat and hot water supply to thousands.

According to geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, as quoted by RUV, this latest eruption is the most powerful to date. The Met Office reported that some of the lava is advancing towards the protective barriers erected around Grindavik.

Iceland, positioned atop a volcanic hotspot in the North Atlantic, is no stranger to volcanic activity. The country is well-versed in managing such natural events. The most disruptive eruption in recent memory occurred in 2010 with the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which emitted vast ash clouds into the sky, leading to extensive airspace closures across Europe.

While the recent eruptions have not resulted in any confirmed fatalities, there was a report of a worker going missing after falling into a fissure created by the volcanic activity.