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Iceland volcano erupts following earthquake swarm (VIDEOS)

The eruption has begun on the Reykjanes peninsula after seismic activity shook the area for weeks

A volcano under southwestern Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula has begun erupting following weeks of earthquake activity that destroyed homes, broke apart roads and prompted evacuations of a nearby fishing village.

The eruption started after 10pm local time on Monday and was located around three kilometers (two miles) north of Grindavik, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) said in a statement. An earthquake swarm began shaking the area about an hour before the volcano erupted.

A Coast Guard helicopter was being dispatched to confirm the eruption’s exact location and size when the IMO statement was issued. The approximately 4,000 residents of Grindavik were forced to flee their homes last month, as Icelandic authorities warned that magma was getting closer to the Earth’s surface and could burst through.

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The volcano also is located near one of Iceland’s top tourist attractions, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, which has been closed since November 9 amid the heavy seismic activity. Grindavik is located about 35 miles southwest of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik.

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Residents survey damage caused by magma flows and earthquakes under the town of Grindavik, Iceland, on Wednesday.
Iceland volcanic eruption looms as tremors rip roads open

The eruption was reportedly visible from Reykjavik. A video clip posted on social media purported to show a view of the volcano from a plane preparing to take off from the Keflavik Airport, west of Reykjavik.

A 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southern Iceland spewed huge clouds of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, causing the largest disruption to European airline flights since World War II.

December 19, 2023 at 05:26AM
RT

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