New volcanic eruption in Iceland | Polarjournal
Live stream from the outbreak site. Video: Youtube

The eruption at Fagradalsfjall in Iceland, expected by experts, begun yesterday afternoon at about 16:40 local time. A crevasse of about 200m long opened at Litla Hrut on the Reykjanes peninsula. Now, a lava flow continues to flow in a mainly southerly direction.

UPDATE: Further observations and measurements show that the eruption has weakened in terms of strength and gas emission and is now at the level of the 2022 eruption. Nevertheless, authorities advise against approaching the eruption site and rather view the natural phenomenon from a distance. It is suspected that more cracks could form in the near future and at the same time the magma tunnel that feeds the eruption could shift and a new eruption site might form.

According to experts, the lava flowed rather slowly at first, but has now accelerated. Also, the amount of toxic gases that escaped was initially in the lower range. Because the eruption site is located a few kilometers inside Fagradalsfjall, an uninhabited area, there is little danger to the surrounding infrastructure and communities at present. Nevertheless, at a press conference, the communications manager of the Icelandic Civil Defense, Hjördis Gudmundsdottir, warned that the situation had changed and that both the flow rate of the lava and the size of the toxic gas clouds had changed.

The eruption had been expected after a series of earthquakes on the peninsula in recent days and weeks.

Despite the official warning not to approach the site right at the beginning of the eruption, numerous onlookers arrived shortly after the eruption became known, some of them coming within a few meters of the flowing lava. In the meantime, the authorities have set up roadblocks.

Volcanoes had already erupted in the same area in 2021 and 2022, causing a great media sensation because these were the first eruptions on the peninsula in several hundred years.

Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal

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