The volcanic eruption that began on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula yesterday is small and activity has decreased since last night, the Icelandic Met Office reports. There are a few lava fountains from the fissure eruption and the lava flow covers an area that is around 100 metres wide. No inhabited areas are in danger and there is little risk of gas pollution except at the eruption site itself.
The eruption began around 8.45pm yesterday in Geldingadalur Valley, creating a red glare in the sky that was noticed by residents in the Reykjanes town of Grindavík. It was preceded by a three-week-long earthquake swarm that began on February 24 with an M5.7 earthquake. The quakes continued through the following weeks and were felt across the peninsula, as well as the Reykjavík capital area and South and West Iceland.
— Icelandic Meteorological Office – IMO (@Vedurstofan) March 19, 2021
Keflavík Airport Code Lowered to Orange
The eruption is mere kilometres from Keflavík International Airport but is not expected to affect flights. The Met Office reported this morning around 10.00am that the aviation colour code for Keflavík Airport had been lowered to orange as the tephra is small and ashfall is expected to be minimal to non-existent. Flight are currently operating in and out of the airport.
Authorities remind the public to stay away from the eruption site, particularly due to toxic gases that can gather in nearby low-lying areas.
For interested readers, there is a live feed of the eruption as seen from Borgarfjall mountain. Read more about the geology of the Reykjanes peninsula.