Eruption Has Begun North of Grindavík Skip to content

Eruption Has Begun North of Grindavík

By Andie Sophia Fontaine

Eruption from last December in Reykjanes, Iceland
Photo: Golli. (Eruption from last December in Reykjanes).

An eruption has begun near Sundhnúkur, north of Grindavík, at approximately 8:00 this morning, the Icelandic Met Office reports.

Eruption occurred shortly after evacuations began

The eruption occurred shortly after Grindavík was evacuated due to increased seismic activity in the area.

Speaking with RÚV, natural hazards expert at the Icelandic Met Office Benedikt Ófeigsson said, “It is difficult to say how large this eruption will be.” He added that the fissure was lengthening actively, which he says is not unusual for eruptions that have just commenced.

Previous eruption in Grindavík last month

Coast Guard helicopters have been deployed to the area at the time of this writing. It has been determined that the eruption is closer to Grindavík than the previous eruption, which occurred in the early morning hours of December 18th.

By all accounts, the evacuation of Gridavík has gone well, with all residents of the town having left the region well ahead the beginning of the eruption.

How destructive will this eruption be?

While volcanoes are notoriously difficult to make accurate predictions about, volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson told reporters that this eruption has surfaced at “perhaps one of the worst places that an eruption can begin, and puts Grindavík in danger if it continues.”

According to the first assessments done by the Icelandic Coast Guard, the eruption has opened on both sides of the lava flow security walls that were dug out in the over the past month. That said, another volcanologist, Ármann Höskuldsson, added that this eruption may run its course quickly.

“Hopefully it will be quick,” he said. “This is exactly like the previous eruption, a continuous lava plume along the entirety of the fissure.”

Which direction the lava will flow, and whether Grindavík will be in its path, is still unknown at the time of this writing.

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