Eruption Started Again on Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland

Iceland eruption


Image from the Icelandic Coast Guard's surveillance flight. Mt. Stóra-Skógfell in the foreground and the lights at the Svartsengi power station to the right. (Photo: Björn Oddsson/Icelandic Coast Guard).

An eruption started northeast of Sýlingarfell in Iceland after 6 am on Thursday, February 8. An earthquake swarm had begun in the magma intrusion north of the town of Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula around half an hour earlier.

A volcano system in southwestern Iceland erupted on Thursday, for the third time since December, with fountains of bright orange lava visible from Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, about 50 kilometers away.

"Warning: A volcanic eruption started north of Sylingarfell," the country's meteorological office said on its website.

The eruptive fissure lengthened both towards north and south during the first minutes.

Similar location

According to the Met Office, the first images from the Icelandic Coast Guard's surveillance flight this morning suggest that the eruption is taking place at a similar location as the eruption on December 18th, 2023.

The eruptive fissure is approximately 3 km long, starting from Mount Sundhnúkur in the south and extending towards the eastern part of Mount Stóra-Skógfell. Lava flows mainly towards the west at the moment, and the flow seems to be slightly less than at the start of the December 18th eruption.

The lava fountains reach about 50-80 meters, and the volcanic plume rises about 3 km above the eruptive fissure.

Number six

The eruption that began this morning is the sixth volcanic eruption in five years on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Kristín Jónsdóttir of the Icelandic Meteorological Office tells RUV that the eruption is similar to the one in December, although with a shorter fissure and a little less intensity.

The eruption already seemed to have stabilized around 8.30 am this morning.

Flights not affected

The Reykjanes eruptions do not produce ash and do not affect air travel. However, the Blue Lagoon Spa is closed.

Guðjón Helgason, spokesperson for airport operator Isavia, says there is no hot water at Keflavík Airport early Thursday afternoon. People are being encouraged to reduce the use of electricity and hot water due to the heating system in Reykjanes [which relies on hot water].

"The electricity systems are not designed to heat all the homes with electricity. The distribution system does not have enough capacity for everyone to heat their houses and other things using electricity. That is why we need to be very careful if we have to switch to electric heating, and as a result, it is very important to take note of information from Civil Defence", Helgason said to RUV.

You can follow the eruption live at Iceland's broadcaster, RUV.

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