Finally! The eruption comes following more than 40,000 earthquakes in the past four weeks, a huge jump from the more normal 1,000-3,000 earthquakes per year since 2014.
The volcanic eruption began in southwestern Iceland near the capital Reykjavik on Friday, the country’s meteorological office said.
A red cloud lit up the night sky after the eruption began in Fagradalsfjall, a mountain about 40km (25 miles) south west of Reykjavik.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office said all inbound and outbound flights from Keflavik airport in Reykjavik have been halted.
It is the area’s first volcanic eruption in nearly 800 years (some say nearly 900 years). Maybe even longer. According to usnews.com, “the Fagradals Mountain volcano had been dormant for 6,000 years, and the Reykjanes Peninsula hadn’t seen an eruption of any volcano in 781 years.”
Watch live on Youtube:
“I can see the glowing red sky from my window,” said Rannveig Gudmundsdottir, resident in the town of Grindavik, only 8 km (5 miles) from the eruption.
“Everyone here is getting into their cars to drive up there,” she said. (Even though police and coastguard officials have advised residents to stay away from the area.)
Dramatic images filmed by a coast guard helicopter showed streams of red lava bubbling and flowing out of a fissure in a valley in Geldingadalur. As the lava continued to today (Saturday), clouds of blue gas were also swirling from the site.
“Volcanic eruptions in the region are known as effusive eruptions, where lava flows steadily out of the ground, as opposed to explosive ones such as that of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 which spewed ash paralyzed air traffic in Europe for weeks.
Streams of red lava could be seen flowing out of a fissure in the ground in video footage filmed by a coast guard helicopter and posted by the Iceland Meteorological Office (IMO) on Twitter.
‘The eruption is considered small,’ the IMO, said in a statement Saturday, adding that the ‘eruption fissure’ is estimated to be be about 1,640 – 3,280 feet long, and that the lava is estimated to be less than half-a-square mile in size.
See more videos on Twitter:
Great drone footage:
Thanks to Sonya Porter, Marcus, Laurel, Stephen Bird, Jeremy Poynton, Perry Debell and Benjamin Napier for these links
“I wonder how many homes will be destroyed by the lava flows; similar to the Hawaii volcano.,” asks Marcus.
“Looks like maybe? 5 vents and fairly active,” says Laurel.