Volcanic eruption in Iceland spews glowing red lava

Grindavik, Iceland - Glowing red lava was still flowing on Thursday after a volcanic eruption on Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula, about 18 miles south-west of the capital Reykjavik.

Lava spews and flows at the scene of the newly erupted volcano at Grindavik, Iceland, on August 3, 2022.
Lava spews and flows at the scene of the newly erupted volcano at Grindavik, Iceland, on August 3, 2022.  © JEREMIE RICHARD / AFP

Live images broadcast on Icelandic television showed molten lava coming from a fissure hundreds of feet long in the rugged landscape.

White smoke rose continuously from the molten rock. According to initial measurements, the eruption was much more powerful in the early hours than at the beginning of a similar one in 2021.

A series of earthquakes that heralded the eruption also continued: On Thursday morning, a quake with a magnitude of 4.6 was measured on the peninsula, according to data from the Icelandic Meteorological Authority.

The number of tremors, however, has decreased noticeably since the eruption, according to the authority.

Authorities say there is no major danger to residents

A volcano erupted on August 3, 2022, in Iceland in a fissure near Reykjavik.
A volcano erupted on August 3, 2022, in Iceland in a fissure near Reykjavik.  © JEREMIE RICHARD / AFP

The eruption started on Wednesday afternoon near the mountain Fagradalsfjall.

Scientists expected one due to earthquakes and associated underground magma movements. There is no major danger to people or the surrounding area, according to findings so far.

It is still unclear how long the eruption will last. An eruption on the same peninsula last year saw lava fountains shooting upwards for months. The natural spectacle attracted countless volcanologists, hikers, and travelers.

This time, too, curious onlookers have made their way to the eruption site.

The area is relatively sparsely populated, but is home to the country's most important airport, which handles practically almost all air traffic to and from the island.

Cover photo: JEREMIE RICHARD / AFP

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