Lava Flow Eases Near Grindavík, Southern Fissure Halts Skip to content

Lava Flow Eases Near Grindavík, Southern Fissure Halts

By Ragnar Tómas

Photo: Golli.

The southern fissure near Grindavik has ceased erupting, with lava mainly flowing from the northern fissure as it stands; protective barriers are proving effective. Key response teams are meeting to address the situation in Grindavik this morning.

660 earthquakes

The flow of lava from the volcanic eruption near Grindavík along the protective barrier, erected north of the town, has decreased. As it stands, the lava seems to be mainly issuing from two to four vents on the northern fissure, the one that opened just before 8 AM yesterday, RÚV reports

The southern fissure, which opened near the northernmost houses in Grindavik at noon yesterday, seems to have stopped erupting; its intensity decreased late last night, and it appears to have solidified overnight. With the dawn breaking, the situation in Grindavik is expected to become clearer in the coming hours.

As noted by Vísir, there have been approximately 660 earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula since midnight. The largest was of magnitude 1.8. Most of the earthquakes have been registered around Mt. Hagafell, although a few have also been detected near the magma dyke below Grindavík.

Protective barriers proved their worth

Engineer Ari Guðmundsson told RÚV this morning that the barrier north of Grindavik was about halfway completed, i.e. half its height, when the eruption began yesterday morning.

“We had the opportunity to make some relatively short barriers in 2021 and saw their effectiveness. We are building on that. Yesterday’s eruption demonstrated their worth, with regard to construction and height. But this is, of course, always dependent on where the lava emerges and the like. That matters a lot, too,” Ari observed.

Yesterday, last night, and this morning, work has been done to raise parts of Nesvegur road on the north side of Grindavík, and the area in its vicinity, so that it could serve as a barrier. This is done in case the lava flow extends further south. Ari told RÚV that an emphasis was being placed on ensuring the safety of those working on the project.

Authorities meet

Speaking to Vísir this morning, Úlfar Lúðvíksson, the police chief in Suðurnes, stated that all the key response teams were currently meeting this morning to review the situation in Grindavík. A meeting with the coordination centre of the National Police Commissioner began at 8 AM.

“We are reviewing the state of affairs in Grindavík. The town lacks hot and cold water and electricity. We are considering how to save valuables and assessing the situation. The town is obviously dangerous. There is an eruption just outside the town and lava flow has already caused damage,” Úlfar remarked. 

He added that meetings will also be held with representatives from the Icelandic Meteorological Office today.

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