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In Iceland, Second Massive Volcanic Eruption Occurs: Lava Reaches Town, Houses Burn [PHOTO,VIDEO]

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Photo: In Iceland, Second Massive Volcanic Eruption Occurs: Lava Reaches Town, Houses Burn. Source: facebook.com/Landhelgisgaeslan
Photo: In Iceland, Second Massive Volcanic Eruption Occurs: Lava Reaches Town, Houses Burn. Source: facebook.com/Landhelgisgaeslan

In the south-west of Iceland, on the Reykjanes peninsula, a second volcanic eruption occurred early on Sunday morning after hundreds of earthquakes shook the region. The lava flow destroyed the anti-lava walls and reached the fishing town of Grindavik, where three houses burned down. The authorities have already evacuated the town at night, RUV reports. 

The volcano erupted for the second time in less than a month. 


"This is probably one of the worst places to have an eruption and puts Grindavik at risk if the eruption continues," said volcanologist Orvaldur Thordarson.

The 3,800 residents of Grindavik were only allowed to return home in late December after a series of earthquakes, cracks and fissures in the ground forced them to flee their homes in November.


Now the city was evacuated again at around four in the morning. The evacuation went well, but about 90 houses were occupied. There were fears that an eruption would inevitably occur within the city limits.

Around two in the afternoon, the first house in Grindavik fell victim to the lava. Residents watched on webcams as the lava flow approached their homes. By the evening, it was clear that three houses had burned down or were covered in lava.


The Civil Defence Coordination Centre was activated, and the Red Cross opened a mass relief centre at Efstaleiti 9 in Reykjavik and a fundraising drive for the relief effort.


Fannar Jonasson, Mayor of Grindavik, says there is very little that can be done when nature takes over. The city is not just bent, but broken.

"The saddest thing about it is that an abyss has formed over the city. The lava is now flowing into the city, as we know, and several houses have already fallen victim to the fire, and if things go on, there could be more. So it's been a complete turnaround."


Fannar says there were undoubtedly plans for lava to flow into the city.

"But it's unrealistic to look at it now. And it is a great sadness for the residents," the mayor added. 


In turn, Ulfar Ludviksson, Sudurnes police chief, said the day had gone well since Grindavik was evacuated last night. He says the rescue efforts have been successful.


The hardest part, he said, is watching the destruction in Grindavik.

The police chief added that all roads to the city are closed.

According to him, work on the dams will continue, and the safety of developers is constantly monitored.


As reported by The Gaze, the previous eruption occurred north of the city of Grindavik on 18 December at 22:17 local time. The eruption caused about 4,000 people to be evacuated from Grindavik, and the neighbouring Blue Lagoon geothermal resort was closed. The eruption was visible from Reykjavik, located about 42 km northeast of Grindavik.


Earlier, the Icelandic government began building defensive barriers to protect the city of Grindavik from an imminent volcanic eruption.


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