In southwest Iceland, a volcano has erupted after weeks of calm, spewing lava and smoke over a vast area, threatening the nearby town. Local authorities evacuated nearly 4,000 residents of Grindavik last month, fearing a significant eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula.
The Meteorological Bureau reported the eruption north of Grindavik near Hafafell. The volcano is ejecting between 100 to 200 cubic meters of lava per second, several times more than in previous eruptions in the area.
Situated between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, Iceland is a hot seismic and volcanic spot as these two plates move in opposite directions. Eruptions are still challenging to predict. In mid-November, Grindavik residents were evacuated from their homes when the ground shook.
Over the past years, several eruptions have occurred on the Reykjanes Peninsula in uninhabited areas. Volcanic activity in this region lasted for six months last year, attracting thousands of Icelanders and tourists. In August 2022, there was a three-week eruption in the same area, followed by another one in July of the current year.