Meteorologists in Iceland say the eruption of a long-dormant volcano is easing and shouldn’t interfere with
By EGILL BJARNASON Associated Press
March 20, 2021, 8:13 p.m.
• 3 min read
REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Thethat sent streams of lava flowing across a small valley in southwestern Iceland is easing and shouldn’t interfere with air travel, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said Saturday. The fissure eruption began at around 8:45 p.m. Friday in the Gelding Valley, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of Reykjavik’s capital, the Met Office said. The agency said that the or dust that could disrupt aviation.
“The more we see, the smaller this eruption gets,” geophysicist Pall Einarsson told The Associated Press on. This is the most heavily populated part of the country. The Department of of volcanic gases rise significantly. Keflavik Airport, Iceland’s international air traffic hub, said .
“There is no indication of production of ash and tephra, and there is no imminent hazard for aviation,” the Met Office said on its website. In 2010, an eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull almost 800 years.sent clouds of ash and dust into the atmosphere, interrupting air travel between Europe and North America because the material could damage jet engines. More than 100,000 flights were grounded, stranding . The Gelding Valley eruption is the first on the Reykjanes Peninsula in
The area began rumbling with increased seismic activity 15 months ago, and the tremors increased dramatically last month. Over the past three weeks, the Met Office said the area had been rattled by about 50,000 small earthquakes, dozens of them magnitude four or more substantial. Iceland, located above a volcanic hotspot in the , averages one eruption every four to five years. The last one was at Holuhraun in 2014 when a fissure eruption the size of Manhattan over the interior highland region.
Scientists flew over the Geldinga Valley eruption on Saturday morning and estimated the eruptive fissure was about 500 meters long (1,640 feet.) The twowere about 2.5 kilometers from the nearest road. Sony Palsdottir’s house is the closest to the , just four kilometers (2.5 miles) away in the coastal town of Grindavik. She and her husband were watching TV on Friday night when her pointed out a red glow in the distance. “Today, I see a white-blue cloud of from the mountains,” Palsdottir, 50, told The Associated Press. “Not something I expected to have in my backyard.” “I am just relieved the earthquakes are over,” she added.