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State of emergency declared in Iceland following another volcanic eruption

State of emergency declared in Iceland following another volcanic eruption

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
09.02.2024 12:45

On Thursday, 8 February, the volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland erupted again, causing many problems for the residents. A state of emergency has been declared on the island.

Iceland is a Nordic country situated in the north of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Being located on a rift between tectonic plates, the island is highly geologically active, which results in the residents' exposure to occasional earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

On 8 February, the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted in southwestern Iceland. Unfortunately, the lava flowing down the volcano caused a disruption in the supply of hot water and heating to households and Keflavik Airport. The eruption was so intense that an orange glow was visible in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.

Another volcanic eruption in Iceland

This is the second time the Fagradalsfjall volcano has erupted this year and the third time since December last year. In the previous eruption, the authorities evacuated the residents of Grindavik due to the large amount of lava spewing from the rupture site, which was between 100 and 200 m³ per second. Fortunately, no one was hurt during the evacuation. The Fagradalsfjall volcano has erupted six times since 2021.

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A spokesperson for the Keflavik airport manager confirmed that the volcanic eruption has not affected port operations so far, even though the heating and hot water do not reach the airport. If the airport’s terminal temperature drops, the employees are prepared to continue working.

Volcanic eruption and state of emergency in Iceland

The Icelandic Department of Civil Protection asked the island's residents to conserve electricity to prevent overloading the grid. Thankfully, service workers were able to secure the high-voltage poles in advance.

Lava flowing from the volcanic eruption has caused damage to the road leading to the Blue Lagoon bathing area. According to RUV (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service), an orange glow can be seen from Reykjavik, which is located three kilometres away from the eruption site. Meanwhile, in the town of Grindavik, a village evacuated in December following the last eruption, volcanic cinders have been observed falling.

"It is a very bad situation to have this area without hot water, but there is electricity, there is potable water, and we are hoping to have hot water by noon on Friday," said Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir in a statement to the media.

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On Thursday evening's Icelandic news programme, geophysicist Benedikt Ofeigsson from the Icelandic Meteorological Office explained that the current volcanic eruption is similar to the one the island experienced on 18 December. Both eruptions appeared more dangerous initially than they later turned out to be. He emphasised that the most important fact is that no one was harmed, and the losses are limited to the lack of hot water.

No information is available on whether the volcanic eruption will affect air quality in other parts of Europe. However, it seems that flights to Iceland will still be possible. The airport operator's spokesperson did not report any cancellations or difficulties in reaching the island.

Source: radiozet.pl

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