Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Quatrième é eruption in southwest Iceland

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People observe the new volcanic eruption near the town of Grindavik in southwest Iceland.

Agency France-Presse

Lava continues to gush out of a new volcanic fault on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland on Sunday. However, it is spreading at a slower pace, according to the authorities in this region, already the scene of three eruptions since December.

At the start of the #x27;eruption, which began at 8:23 p.m. Saturday (local time), the Icelandic Meteorological Institute (IMO) had said it was the largest, in terms of relates to the discharge of magma, of the series that this region has experienced for four months.

On Sunday, the IMO noted that the molten material was flowing continuously and slowly but that seismic activity had decreased noticeably overnight – a development very similar to that of the three eruptions There are now three active openings on the crack, says IMO. Live video feeds show glowing lava and plumes of smoke.

The lava is now some 200 m from the water distribution pipeline from the Svartsengi power station, which supplies 30,000 people not only with electricity but also with water.

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This region, located about 40 kilometers southwest of Reykjavik, is one of the most populated of Iceland.

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The majority of Grindavik residents did not wish to return to the village after the last eruption, which was barely a month old.

A state of emergency was declared at the start of the eruption and the small town of Grindavik was again evacuated , as well as the geothermal tourist site of the Blue Lagoon.

The approximately 4,000 inhabitants of Grindavik had to be evacuated on November 11, at the time of the first eruption, and it was not until February 19 that ;they were authorized to return to this locality, which was badly damaged by the hundreds of seismic tremors which accompanied the eruptions.

Only a hundred of them, however, chose to return to live there.

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A volcanic eruption takes place just 400 meters from the village of Grindavik. (Archive photo)

In mid-February, the IMO warned that GPS data suggested the resumption of swelling of the ground and therefore accumulation of magma, a prelude to x27;a new eruption.

These eruptions also raise fears of damage to the Svartsengi power plant. Evacuated at the first eruption, it has since been managed remotely, while dikes were built to protect it.

Iceland, located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American plates meet, is home to the largest number of active volcanoes in Europe, numbering 33.

The activity recorded since 2021 in the Reykjanes peninsula testifies to the awakening, after 800 years, of a long fault which allows the rise of magma, volcanologists agree.< /p>

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