The Iceland Meteorological Office announced that the Vagradalsvale volcano near the Icelandic capital Reykjavik has begun to erupt.
The Met Office tweeted, “According to preliminary information, the length of the fault is about 200 meters.”
Pictures showed small springs of lava. The Met Office said that the volume of the flowing outflow of liquid rock reached an area of about a square kilometer. Meteorologists had previously said that only slight seismic fluctuations were measured.
However, the Department of Civil Protection and the Emergency Department warned against approaching the volcano, obstructing emergency services at the site.
According to local media reports, a Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to the site of the volcano in order to better assess the extent and consequences of the volcanic eruption. Icelandic news portal “The Liberal” reported that people near a potential eruption zone said they had seen light from the area.
Pictures showed a red glow over the volcanic summit that could be seen from miles away in the night sky.
Vajradalsviel volcano is located about 30 km from the capital Reykjavik, at the southwestern tip of Iceland.
There are no indications of any major obstacles to air traffic. The government airport operator Isafia did not resort to issuing a ban on flights, but set a no-fly zone for drones five kilometers from the volcano.
Authorities at Keflavík Airport, Iceland’s largest airport for international flights, only noted an increase in ash in the air.
The Civil Protection Department notified citizens in the catchment area not to leave their homes for fear of exposure to volcanic gas columns, and demanded that the windows be closed. There are about 30 major volcanoes in Iceland. And in 2010, an eruption at a volcano below the Ayavyaliokle Glacier disrupted air travel for several weeks.
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