Long-Dormant Volcano Erupts in Iceland

It is not expected to interrupt air travel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 20, 2021 1:15 PM CDT
Long-Dormant Volcano Erupts in Iceland
A long-dormant volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula flared to life Friday night, spilling lava down two sides in that area's first volcanic eruption in nearly 800 years.   (Icelandic Coast Guard via AP)

(Newser) – The eruption of a long-dormant volcano that sent streams of lava flowing across a small valley in southwestern Iceland is easing and shouldn’t interfere with air travel, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said Saturday. The fissure eruption began at around 8:45pm Friday in the Geldinga Valley 20 miles southwest of the capital, Reykjavik, the Met Office said. The eruption is “minor” and there were no signs of ash or dust that could disrupt aviation, the agency said. “The more we see, the smaller this eruption gets,” geophysicist Pall Einarsson told The AP on Saturday after monitoring the volcano throughout the night.

This southwestern corner of Iceland is the most heavily populated part of the country. The Department of Emergency Management said it doesn’t anticipate evacuations, unless levels of volcanic gases rise significantly. Keflavik Airport, Iceland’s international air traffic hub, said flights have remained on schedule since the eruption began. “There is no indication of production of ash and tephra, and there is no imminent hazard for aviation,” the Met Office said on its website. In 2010, an eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland sent clouds of ash and dust into the atmosphere, interrupting air travel between Europe and North America. The Geldinga Valley eruption is the first on the Reykjanes Peninsula in almost 800 years

(Read more Iceland volcano stories.)

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