Iceland has reported a volcanic eruption on the southwest Reykjanes Peninsula, southwest of the capital Reykjavík, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) tweeted Friday.
“A volcanic eruption started this evening at 20:45 near Fagradalsfjall in Geldingadalur,” IMO said in a tweet. “The eruption is considered small at this stage, and the eruptive fissure is app. 500 m long. The magma area is app. 1km2. Lava fountains are small.”
A new video of the eruption at Geldingardalur valley in Reykjanes peninsula. Taken from the Coast Guard helicopter.
Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management is advising people within several miles of the volcano to close their windows and stay indoors to avoid volcanic gas’s effects in the air.
Iceland earthquakes spark fears of volcanic eruption 03:04
“Volcanic gas pollution is expected to extend as far as Þorlákshöfn and to continue into the night. People are asked to close windows and stay indoors. The status and amount of SO2 emissions from the eruption are being assessed,” the agency tweeted late Friday.
People were urged to avoid the Reykjanesbraut highway on the southwest Reykjanes Peninsula, which connects Greater Reykjavík to Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport.
“First responders need to be able to drive freely to assess the situation. Scientists are working on assessing the eruption,” the authority tweeted.
According to the IMO, the eruption comes after weeks of increased seismic activity on the peninsula, with some 400 earthquakes detected in the region on Thursday morning alone.
“This is somewhat less seismic activity in comparison to previous mornings where the numbers have been around 1,000 earthquakes,” the IMO added in a tweet on Thursday.