Volcano erupts in Iceland near country's capital Reykjavik

20 March 2021, 00:52

The eruption in Fagradalsfjall lies around 20 miles from Reykjavik
The eruption in Fagradalsfjall lies around 20 miles from Reykjavik. Picture: Icelandic Meteorological Office
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A volcano has erupted in Iceland around 20 miles (32km) south-west of the capital Reykjavik, the country's meteorological office has said.

Red clouds lit up the night sky on Friday and a no-fly zone has been established in the area after the eruption at Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes peninsula.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) is warning the public to stay away from the area due to falling rocks, falling boulders and potential landslides.

When another volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, erupted in the north-western European country in 2010, the disruption brought air traffic to a halt across the continent.

However, this event is not believed to present any danger as the volcano is not expected to spew out as much ash or smoke.

A spokesperson for the IMO wrote in a tweet: "Volcanic eruption has begun in Fagradalsfjall."

Fagradalsfjall is a mountain situated in the Krysuvik volcanic system around 20 miles outside the country's capital city.

The red shimmer from magma is seen coming out from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano
The red shimmer from magma is seen coming out from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano. Picture: Getty

Another tweet posted by the IMO said: "The source of the volcanic eruption began at Geldingadalur, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula."

The southern end of the lava flow is about 1.6 miles (2.6 km) from Suðurstrandarvegur, the institute said.

It added: "According to initial information, the fissure is about 200 m long."

A coastguard helicopter was deployed to the region and sent images of the lava flow following the eruption.

The IMO said on its website: “The first notification was received by the Meteorological Office at 2140 GMT. The eruption was confirmed through webcams and satellite images.”

A 3.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km) from Fagradalsfjall several hours earlier.

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