Disasters & Accidents

Volcano erupts near Icelandic town of Grindavik

Reykjavik, Dec 19 (EFE).- A volcano has erupted about 4 kilometers from the Icelandic town of Grindavik, the country’s Meteorological Office (MET) reported late Monday.

Grindavik is a fishing town of about 3,000 people that sits on a southwestern peninsula, about 45 kilometers from the capital Reykjavik.

“At 22:17 this evening, a volcanic eruption began north of Grindavik on the Reykjanes peninsula. The eruption is located close to Sundhnúkagígar, about four kilometers northeast of Grindavík, and it can be seen on nearby web cameras,” the MET said in on its website at 11 pm on Monday.

The eruption followed a swarm of earthquakes that started at 9 pm.

In an update on Tuesday, just after 2am, the MET said that the rate of lava discharge during the first two hours of the eruption was thought to be “on a scale of hundreds of cubic meters per second.”

“Lava is spreading laterally from either side of the newly opened fissures. From real-time GPS measurements, significant ground deformation has accompanied the opening of the eruption fissures.”

Since midnight, the seismicity level at the eruption site had decreased, it said, adding that “estimates of fissure lengthening suggest that the eruption has decreased in intensity since its onset.” EFE

laa/tw

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