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Icelandic volcano erupts on the peninsula of Reykjanes

Icelandic volcano erupts on the peninsula of Reykjanes

On the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland, a volcano has erupted following weeks of strong seismic activity.

Grindavik, a fishing village, had some 4,000 residents evacuated earlier, and the neighbouring Blue Lagoon geothermal spa was shut down.

According to the Icelandic Met Office, the eruption began north of the town around 22:17 local time (22:17 GMT).

Since late October, there has been an uptick in earthquake activity in the area surrounding the capital, Reykjavik.

According to the Met Office, Grindavik was around 4 km (2.5 miles) northeast of the eruption, and the town was being approached by the seismic activity.

Social media users captured images and videos of lava erupting from the volcano within an hour of the detection of seismic events, or an earthquake swarm.

Reykjavik, which is located roughly 42 kilometres (26 miles) northeast of Grindavik, offers views of the eruption.

A witness at the scene told the BBC that smoke was visible pouring into the air and that the explosion was "lit up in red" over half of the sky towards the town.

People have been advised by the police to avoid the area.

According to the Met Office, the lava is streaming from the volcano at a rate of between 100 and 200 cubic metres per second along a crack that is approximately 3.5 km long.

It was also mentioned that this was a significant amount in comparison to earlier recent eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula.

According to a senior Civil Defence police officer speaking to national television RUV, the eruption erupted rapidly and seemed to be "quite a large event".

According to Vidir Reynisson, a sizable fissure in the volcano seemed to be the source of the lava streaming in all directions.

Bjarni Benediktsson, the foreign minister of Iceland, stated on X, the old Twitter platform, that "international flight corridors remain open, and there are no disruptions to flights to and from Iceland."

"The jets [of lava] are quite high, so it appears to be a powerful eruption at the beginning," he stated.

According to Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir of Iceland, the recently built defences would be beneficial.

Although the "significant event" had occurred, she expressed her hope for the best and her thoughts were with the local community.

President Gudni Johannesson stated that while protecting people's lives was the top concern, structures will also be protected to the fullest extent possible.

Due to a massive ash cloud, the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in April 2010 resulted in the greatest closure of European airspace since World War Two.

The expected losses ranged from 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion euros (£1.3 to 2.2 billion; $1.6-2.7 billion).

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