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A volcano located in Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland has erupted for the first time in 6,000 years. Mount Fagradalsfjall volcano became active in the evening hours of March 19, 2021. This marks the area’s first eruption in almost 800 years.
Due to the volcano being roughly one and a half miles from any roadway — the Department of Emergency Management does not feel anyone will need to be evacuated. Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdóttir stated they are “monitoring the situation closely.”
According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), the eruption started around 8:45 p.m. GMT. Experts considered the situation “small” during the beginning stages.
The IMO first noticed the eruption via a webcam. Later the office confirmed the situation with thermal satellite imagery. The initial “fissure” was measured to be around 550 yards long. When the volcano erupted the lava basted a few hundred feet in the air.
People residing in Reykjavik could see the glowing lava — which was roughly 20 miles away, Authorities have warned residents to stay away from the lave fountains. They further urged people to stay indoors and to keep the windows closed. This can help protect them from the expected “volcanic gas pollution.”
The Icelandic Meteorological Office does not believe the gas pollution will “cause much discomfort” to anyone — unless they live by “the source of the eruption.” They will closely be monitoring the situation.
Volcanologists were surprised by the eruption. Despite the fact, there have been tens of thousands of daily earthquakes — over the last three weeks — in Iceland. These quakes are normally rare to see in the Reykjavik area. Recently the heightened seismic activity has calmed.
Images of the eruption have been flooding social media since the ground opened up in Iceland. One image on Twitter showed the northern lights and the glow from the lava.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Fox: Volcano erupts in Iceland for first time in 6,000 years; by Julia Musto
Featured Image Courtesy of Kevin McCarthy’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License