Volcano erupts in Iceland after weeks of intense earthquake activity as thousands evacuated

18 December 2023, 23:54 | Updated: 19 December 2023, 00:41

There had been weeks of intense activity
There had been weeks of intense activity. Picture: Icelandic Met Office
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A volcano has erupted on the Reykjanes peninsula of south-west Iceland following intensifying earthquake activity.

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Some 4,000 people had already been evacuated from a nearby fishing town, as well as the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, when the volcano erupted.

The eruption, which has been pictured by the Icelandic Met Office, started at around 10.17pm local time, according to the national forecaster.

The volcanic eruption had been expected for weeks
The volcanic eruption had been expected for weeks. Picture: Icelandic Met Office

Earthquake tremors had been felt around Reykjavik since the end of October, signalling that an eruption was likely.

The exact location and size of the volcanic eruption is yet to be determined.

Read More: Moment residents of town in Iceland hurriedly load up their car as they flee home ahead of looming volcanic eruption

Read More: Iceland braced for volcanic eruption as river of magma flows under town and huge cracks open up in the ground

Iceland's Meteorological Office said on its website today: "Warning: Eruption has started north of Grindavik by Hagafell."

The eruption has so far had no effect on flights in or out of the country's capital, Reykjavík.

"At the moment, there are no disruptions to arrivals or departures at Keflavík Airport," a spokesperson said.

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