October 4, 2022

A volcano in Iceland near Reykjavik began erupting less than a year after the end of its first eruption in 6,000 years.

Fagradalsfjall volcano is located about 20 miles (about 32 kilometers) from Keflavik Airport, in the southwest of the island nation.

It exploded at about 1:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

No flights have been disrupted and the international airport remains open. Roads in the area have been closed.

Lava is pouring out of a narrow fissure in the volcano, as seen in footage from a live video feed owned by Icelandic state broadcaster RUV.

The lava is flowing over an area of ​​solidified lava emitted during last year’s eruption that lasted several months.

The eruption that began in March 2021 lasted for six months before ending on September 19. It was the volcano’s first eruption in 6,000 years and the first eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in more than 800 years.

Thorvaldur Thordarson, a professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, told Icelandic media that he does not consider the fissure dangerous as long as it is not growing.

He believes the fissure is about 500 meters (1,640 feet) long and that the lava is flowing at a speed of a few cubic kilometers per second.

However, it has warned people in the area to avoid breathing the “cloud” of sulfur gas emitted by the volcano.

People are expected to flock to the Reykjavík peninsula to witness the event known as a “tourism boom” due to the relative safety of people attending in person.

It’s a widely used term for eruptions of its scale, according to tourism website Visit Iceland.

The website says the 2021 eruption started with a fissure that was just 180 meters (600 feet) long.

He adds: “The lava flow soon concentrated in two craters that are constantly erupting. There was no explosive activity that produced an ash plume, as was the case with the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010, which disrupted air traffic in Europe.

“In this case, the eruption turned out to be a diffuse fissure eruption, producing a steady flow of basaltic lava about 6 meters3 and releasing volcanic gases.

“After a few weeks, new cracks formed and new vents began to open while others became inactive. At one point, six craters erupted simultaneously.”

The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull sent a cloud of volcanic ash into the atmosphere that disrupted air travel between Europe and North America. Millions of passengers were stranded after more than 100,000 flights were grounded.

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