A volcano erupted near Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, on Friday, sending lava into the sky after thousands of small earthquakes occurred in recent weeks.
The eruption of the volcano occurred near Mount Vajrad, Svial, in the Reykjanes Peninsula, about 30 km southwest of the capital.
About four hours after the initial eruption at 2045 GMT, the first in the peninsula since the 12th century, the lava covered about a square kilometer, or nearly 200 soccer fields.
“I can see the glowing red sky from my window … everyone here gets in their cars to get away,” said Ranvig Gudmundsdottir, a resident of Grindavik, just eight kilometers from the eruption.
There have been more than 40,000 earthquakes in the peninsula in the past four weeks, a massive jump of earthquakes that have remained between 1,000 and 3,000 every year since 2014.
The Icelandic Met Office said the eruption did not pose any direct threat to people in Grindavík or to vital infrastructure and classified the eruption as minor.
At the site of the eruption, Bjarki Fries, of the Met Office, said a fault 500 to 750 meters long opened, causing lava to erupt up to 100 meters in height.
Iceland’s Civil Protection and Emergency Management Department said that authorities had asked residents of the town of Thorlakshofen, east of the site of the eruption, to stay indoors to avoid exposure to volcanic gases.
And unlike the volcano’s eruption in Ijäyaläyukel in 2010, which stopped nearly 900,000 flights and forced hundreds of Icelanders from their homes, this eruption is not expected to emit much ash or smoke into the atmosphere.
#area #soccer #fields #volcano #Reykjavik #capital #Iceland