Volcanic eruption disrupts life on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland

by Anja
1 min read
Feb 9, 2024 4:10:31 PM

#NordicNews on destinations and Iceland

Recurrent eruptions pose challenges for local communities in southwest Iceland

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland was evacuated when a volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula erupted for the third time since December on Wednesday night. The eruption began at around 1am CET, with lava jets shooting into the sky. The spa, a major tourist attraction, was closed and residents in nearby communities saw their heating and hot water supplies disrupted due to a lava-enveloped pipe failure.

Although the strength of the eruption decreased by the afternoon, lava continued to flow and a cloud of steam rose above the fissure where magma came into contact with groundwater. The volcano is located about four kilometers northeast of Grindavik, a town that was evacuated back in December. The civil defense authority urged residents to conserve water and electricity as lava reached a pipeline that supplies the region with hot water.

The Blue Lagoon, operated by a geothermal power plant, was safely evacuated and no immediate threat to Grindavik was reported.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office had warned of a possible eruption and monitored the build-up of magma and seismic activity in the weeks beforehand. Although no flight disruptions were reported at Keflavik Airport, the hot water supply was affected. The eruption follows seismic activity and previous eruptions in the region and poses challenges for the affected communities. The situation is described as "an unsettling period of upheaval" on the Reykjanes Peninsula, with uncertainties over the long-term habitability of Grindavik.

More on the volcano in Iceland.

Header: © Tetiana Grypachevska Unsplash

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