WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Fagradals Mountain volcano, located some miles from Iceland’s capital, erupted on Friday after being inactive for about 6,000 years.
- Prior to the eruption, the Reykjanes Peninsula has recorded more than 40,000 earthquakes occurring in the region within the past few weeks.
- The eruption was categorized as small by meteorologists, so no one is in great danger.
After being dormant for nearly 6,000 years, a volcano near Iceland’s capital city erupted on Friday night after the island nation recorded over 40,000 earthquakes in the past weeks. The last eruption in the peninsula was some 800 years ago.
Fountains of fiery lava oozed out from the Fagradals Mountain volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula that turned the night sky red, as shown in aerial footage from the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO).
Reuters reported lava spewing out as high as 110 yards from an 820-yard long fissure at the eruption site. The red glow of the lava could even be seen about 15 miles south of the capital, The Associated Press reported.
A region known for volcanic activity, the Reykjanes Peninsula has noted a significant increase in the number of earthquakes that have occurred recently; from 3,000 each year since 2014 to about 40,000 over the past four weeks.
The IMO classified the eruption as small, so no major disruption is expected and no evacuations were necessary. Still, authorities warned residents in the area to stay indoors and keep their windows shut to avoid breathing in toxic gases emitted from the volcano.
“Gas pollution can be expected due to the eruption in Reykjanes, most close to the source. Gas distribution is to the northeast from the eruption sites towards the capital area, but it is unlikely that gas concentrations will be dangerous there,” according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office on Monday.
Air traffic continued as normal and no flights were canceled due to the eruption not spewing out as much ash or smoke into the atmosphere, unlike a 2010 eruption that impacted travel for weeks and even forced Icelanders out of their homes.
Source: The Hill