Residents forced to evacuate as volcano erupts in Iceland

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The eruption of the Grindavik volcano is the second natural disaster to hit the fishing town in recent weeks.

ANNOUNCEMENT

A volcano has erupted in southwestern Iceland, putting the nearby fishing town at risk. Residents have since been evacuated, authorities said.

The video shows molten rock spewing from cracks in the ground and a bright orange lava flow contrasting with the sky.

The eruption began north of the city of Grindavik. According to authorities, he was evacuated Saturday amid a swarm of seismic activity.

Iceland has struggled in recent weeks to build earth and rock barriers to stop lava from reaching the city. However, the latest eruption appears to have penetrated the defenses.

“According to the first images from the Coast Guard surveillance flight, a crack has opened on both sides of the defenses that have started to be built north of Grindavík,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office said in a statement.

“The lava is now flowing towards Grindavík. According to measurements taken by the Coast Guard helicopter, the perimeter is now approximately 450 meters from the northernmost houses of the city,” the statement added.

Sunday’s eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland occurred in less than a month and is the fifth such eruption since 2021.

Last month, an eruption began in the Svartsengi volcanic system after all 4,000 residents of Grindavik were evacuated and the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a popular tourist spot, was closed.

More than 100 Grindavik residents have since returned to their homes before being forced to leave on Saturday.

Iceland’s civil protection agency announced on Sunday that it had raised the alert level to “emergency”, the highest of three levels.

This signals an event that could potentially cause harm to people, communities, property and the environment.

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