Iceland's Grindavík Faces Renewed Evacuation as Volcano Threat Escalates

14.01.2024 posted by Admin

Evacuations Ordered as Iceland Faces Renewed Eruption Risk

A volcano in southwest Iceland erupted recently, posing a renewed threat to the residents of a nearby town just weeks after another eruption in the same area.

The National Commissioner of Police in Iceland ordered the evacuation of Grindavík, a fishing town, by Monday night due to the opening of volcanic fissures on roads in the vicinity. This comes after the town had been evacuated in November following seismic activity that led to a dramatic volcanic eruption with lava bursts and massive smoke plumes.

Iceland's meteorological office detected an earthquake hours before the eruption, prompting the police to raise the alert level. The Icelandic Coast Guard deployed a helicopter to monitor the situation closely.

Grindavík, situated 70 kilometers southwest of Reykjavík, Iceland's capital, and home to the famous Blue Lagoon, faces a three-week evacuation order for public safety. Exceptions include official business and short periods for residents to salvage valuables.

The decision for evacuation follows a hazard assessment by the Civil Protection Agency, which deemed the volcanic fissures in the area as higher risk compared to the previous evaluation on January 12. The amount of magma had reached a level similar to the December eruption, but this time, there's a potential southward migration toward Grindavík.

The eruption in December is believed to be the largest so far, prompting a state of emergency declared in November.

Iceland, with 32 active volcanoes and located on a tectonic plate boundary, often experiences volcanic activity. While eruptions typically occur away from populated areas, the recent series of eruptions are not expected to cause chaos similar to the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. In that case, a massive ash cloud led to the cancellation of 100,000 flights, affecting 2 million people due to the threat it posed to aircraft engines and electrical systems.
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