Watch a volcano erupt outside Iceland’s capital

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – A volcanic eruption is underway in southwest Iceland and people are flocking to the rural area to spot 1,300°F lava.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano had been quiet for over six thousand years, but since 2021 there have been two episodes of eruptions, including the largest event which began on Wednesday.

Meteorologists said the eruption was accompanied by the release of life-threatening gases and more than 400 earthquakes.

Fortunately for the country’s 376,000 inhabitants alone, the volcano is located far enough away that impacts on major population centers are not expected.

Police have closed the footpaths around the mountain as Fagradalsfjall has become something of a tourist attraction, with people hoping to get a picture of the lava.

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Through the use of surveillance flights, experts have determined that the lava flow is approximately five to ten times greater than the 2021 eruption.

The country’s aviation sector is closely monitoring the eruption and ash which could potentially interfere with flight paths.

Fagradalsfjall is only about 32 km from the country’s main airport, Keflavík.

Planes are very sensitive to ash, and the US Geological Survey reports that there have been 79 instances of volcanic material damaging planes since 1953.

Ash particles can damage an aircraft’s fuselage and blades and significantly impair engine performance and electronics.

So far, officials said there have been no delays or cancellations, but they are monitoring volcano activity.

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The island nation is no stranger to volcanic activity due to its location on the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

Iceland is home to around 130 volcanic mountains, many of which are considered inactive.