Iceland volcanic flare-up triggers state of emergency

A volcanic eruption, pictured here in this overhead shot, sent lava flowing toward the now-evacuated town of Grindavik in southwest Iceland, on Jan. 14, 2024.

BBC Online :
A state of emergency has been declared in southern Iceland after another volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula – the fourth since December.
Lava has reached the eastern defences around the small, evacuated town of Grindavik, local media said.
The powerful and fast lava flows began late on Saturday – but the authorities say they have since diminished significantly.
Activity around the fissure – initially 3km long (1.9 miles) – has dissipated.
Iceland’s Meteorological Office said the streams of lava were still flowing on Sunday, but the rate at which they were moving had begun to slow down.
The director of Iceland’s civil defence, Vídir Reynisson, said all that could be done to prepare for the flow of lava had been done, and the biggest concern was the impact on infrastructure.
Pools of lava gathering near defences were also of concern, he added.
The eruption began after 20:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Saturday, north of Grindavik, according to the country’s civil defence service,
This is a similar location to the eruption that began on 8 December.
Footage of the explosion showed clouds of smoke and glowing magma oozing and bubbling from vents in the earth.
The explosion has not affected the main international airport, which lies to the north-west of Grindavik.
Getty Images Emergency vehicles are seen as molten lava flows out from a fissure on the Reykjanes peninsulaGetty Images
Geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, who was among those to fly over the affected areas in a helicopter, told local media that Saturday’s eruption was the most powerful so far.
Two lava streams have been moving west and south. Local media reported that lava from the latter had reached Grindavik’s eastern defence walls.
Mr Gudmundsson said it was also possible lava could flow into the sea, but that this may not happen if the volcanic activity eases.
Einar Bessi Gestsson, a natural disaster expert at the Norwegian Meteorological Agency, has told Iceland’s public broadcaster RUV that dangerous gases and small explosions could occur if lava makes contact with sea water.
Meanwhile, the lava moving west is heading in the direction of the Blue Lagoon and a geothermal power plant, which provides hot water for most of the Reykjanes Peninsula.