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miercuri, 24 aprilie 2024 - 2:22
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Iceland’s volcano eruption misses local town


Lava from a large volcanic eruption in Iceland appeared to flow away from the only town in the area, offering hope that homes would be spared, geologists and rescue officials said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The eruption late on Monday on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland spewed lava and smoke more than 100 metres into the air after weeks of intense seismic activity.

“The eruption does not present a threat to life,” an Icelandic government statement said.

“There are no disruptions to flights to and from Iceland and international flight corridors remain open.”

Authorities last month evacuated the nearly 4,000 inhabitants of the fishing town of Grindavik, about 40 km southwest of the capital city Reykjavik.

Images and live streaming of the eruption shown by Reuters and others showed bright yellow, orange and red lava in sharp contrast against the night sky.

The eruption opened a 4 km fissure from which lava fountains emerged. But at its southernmost point the crack was still 3 km away from Grindavik, Iceland’s Meteorological Office said.

“The eruption is taking place north of the watershed, so lava does not flow towards Grindavik,” geologist Bjorn Oddson told public broadcaster RUV.

Located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates, among the largest on the planet, Iceland is a seismic and volcanic hot spot because the two plates move in opposite directions.