Volcano Erupts for Fifth Time in Iceland, Threatens Coastal Town and Blue Lagoon Spa – Evacuations Underway as Lava Spews High

Grindavik, Iceland – The volcanic activity in southwestern Iceland continues to captivate the world as a volcano erupted Wednesday for the fifth time since December. This eruption spewed red lava, threatening the coastal town of Grindavik once again and necessitating the evacuation of the renowned Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. The area has been on high alert since December when the volcano unexpectedly came back to life after centuries of dormancy.

Following a series of earthquakes north of Grindavik, the eruption began in the early afternoon. The volcanic eruption led to the evacuation of the small town of 3,800 people, which had been largely evacuated in December during the volcano’s initial awakening. The lava flow reached heights of 50 meters (165 feet) into the sky from a fissure that measured 3.5 kilometers (2.1 miles) in length, according to reports from the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Despite the eruption showing signs of calming by early evening, it was considered the most vigorous in the area so far. The flowing lava was deflected by barriers built to protect Grindavik, although it did cut off two of the three roads leading to the town and was dangerously close to reaching the third.

Grindavik Mayor Fannar Jónasson expressed concern over the situation, stating, “It’s a much larger volume that’s on the move right now headed for town. The lava has already conquered (a lot).” Workers and residents in the area were ordered to leave as a precautionary measure, with the Blue Lagoon thermal spa being evacuated before the eruption commenced.

Scientists were closely monitoring the volcanic activity, noting a dark plume of ash that rose over the crater from magma interacting explosively with groundwater. Although the ash cloud did not present an immediate threat to aviation, authorities remained vigilant. Grindavik, situated approximately 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Reykjavik, has been under threat since a series of earthquakes in November prompted the initial evacuation in anticipation of the December eruption.

This recent eruption adds to a string of volcanic activities in the area over the past few months. The Svartsengi volcanic system, dormant for nearly 800 years before reawakening, has been particularly active. With Iceland’s unique positioning above a volcanic hot spot in the North Atlantic, the country is accustomed to managing volcanic events. The eruption in 2010 of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which caused widespread airspace closures over Europe, remains one of the most disruptive eruptions in recent times.

The resilience and preparedness demonstrated by Iceland in responding to volcanic events highlight the nation’s expertise in managing such natural phenomena. With the latest eruption, authorities continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety of the local population and visitors in the region.