Iceland volcano eruption sparks travel fears, risky photo shoots


A large volcano erupting near a worldwide travel hub, Iceland’s Keflavik Airport, led to shut monitoring by officers and sparked fascination from individuals who ventured close to the brilliant orange lava flows regardless of warnings.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano in southwest Iceland erupted Wednesday at 1:18 p.m. native time, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, which urged folks to steer clear of the sparsely populated space on the Reykjanes peninsula — although some nonetheless went up near snap images with their kids and fly drones.

“I just made it to the volcano … my mind is completely blown, it’s crazy,” one onlooker advised the Associated Press. “The last thing that I would have imagined this morning when I woke up would be to be standing and looking at this … it is so beautiful.”

Another man who had flocked to see the identical volcano erupt final yr mentioned it was “absolutely incredible,” describing the lava as a mesmerizing “dancing fire.”

The Fagradalsfjall volcano exterior Reykjavik in southwest Iceland erupted on Aug. 3 after the realm skilled sturdy earthquakes. (Video: The Washington Post)

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The eruption, categorised as a volcanic fissure, is going on about 10 miles from Keflavik International Airport and about 20 miles from the nation’s capital, Reykjavik. As of Thursday morning, the airport — which has flights from Seattle, London and Frankfurt — remained open and operational.

“Currently, there have been no disruptions to flights to and from Iceland and international flight corridors remain open,” the Foreign Ministry mentioned in a statement.

International vacationers will recall the 2010 eruption of the nation’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which spewed big ash clouds into the environment, grounding air site visitors and leaving tens of millions stranded.

“What we know so far is that the eruption does not pose any risk to populated areas or critical infrastructure,” Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir mentioned in a press release. “We will of course continue to monitor the situation closely.”

A volcanic fissure doesn’t often lead to massive explosions or important dispersal of ash into the stratosphere. But folks had been warned to remain away due to the danger from noxious fumes and sizzling magma.

“The eruption follows intense seismic activity over the past few days,” the Foreign Ministry mentioned. “It is considered to be relatively small and due to its location, there is low threat to populated areas or critical infrastructure”

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The actual location of the eruption is in Meradalir, about one mile north of Mt. Stori-Hrutur, based on the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

The space has skilled “strong earthquakes” in current days, it added, warning of tremors, falling rocks and fuel air pollution. The identical volcano additionally erupted final yr, it said, and lasted about six months.

Volcanoes are a truth of life in Iceland, a rustic that sits atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, brought on by the separation of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. On average, the nation experiences a volcanic occasion about each 4 years.

However, the identical geological exercise can also be liable for among the nation’s most dramatic pure options, akin to black sand seashores and geothermal lagoons, which draw tens of millions of international vacationers.

The present volcanic response is being led by Iceland’s division of Civil Protection and Emergency Management alongside the Meteorological Office and University of Iceland. Scientists are additionally within the space with Coast Guard helicopters to evaluate the state of affairs, the federal government mentioned.

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