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Business News/ News / World/  Iceland volcano Sylingarfell erupts for the second time in 2024, molten rocks spew from fissures
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Iceland volcano Sylingarfell erupts for the second time in 2024, molten rocks spew from fissures

The previous eruption started on 14 January and lasted roughly two days, with lava flows reaching the outskirts of the Grindavik fishing town, whose nearly 4,000 inhabitants had been evacuated

A drone picture shows lava spewing from the site of the volcanic eruption north of Grindavik, photographed from Sylingarfell, Iceland (REUTERS)Premium
A drone picture shows lava spewing from the site of the volcanic eruption north of Grindavik, photographed from Sylingarfell, Iceland (REUTERS)

Iceland’s Meteorological Office says the Sylingarfell volcano is erupting. A volcanic eruption started on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland on Thursday, the third to hit the area since December, authorities said.

"Warning: A volcanic eruption started north of Sylingarfell," the Met Office said on its website.

The eruption began about 6 a.m. local time, sending lava into the air along a 3-kilometer-long (1.9-mile-long) fissure northeast of Mount Sundhnukur, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said.

Icelandic national broadcaster RUV said the nearby Blue Lagoon thermal spa, one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions, was closed when the eruption began and guests were evacuated to hotels.

This is the sixth outbreak on the Reykjanes peninsula since 2021, and the second time this year.

The previous eruption started on 14 January and lasted roughly two days, with lava flows reaching the outskirts of the Grindavik fishing town, whose nearly 4,000 inhabitants had been evacuated, setting some houses alight.

The Sylingarfell mountain is located a distance north of Grindavik, but it was not immediately clear if Thursday's outbreak would affect the village.

Iceland, which is roughly the size of the US state of Kentucky, boasts more than 30 active volcanoes, making the north European island a prime destination for volcano tourism - a niche segment that attracts thousands of thrill seekers.

It straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack in the ocean floor separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

Until March 2021, the Reykjanes peninsula had not experienced an eruption for eight centuries.

Fresh eruptions occurred in August 2022, and July and December 2023, leading volcanologists to say it was probably the start of a new era of activity in the region.

Grindavik, a town of 3,800 people about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, was evacuated in November when the Svartsengi volcanic system awakened after almost 800 years with a series of earthquakes that opened large cracks in the earth between the town and Sýlingarfell, a small mountain to the north.

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Published: 08 Feb 2024, 01:47 PM IST
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