Volcano Eruption Begins Near Reykjavik, Iceland's Capital
A volcano eruption began on July 10 near Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, after several days of seismic activity. The volcano Litli-Hrútur started erupting on the Reykjanes Peninsula, located about 30 kilometers from the country's capital, Reykjavik, and near the site of previous eruptions in 2021 and 2022, according to the Icelandic publication RUV.
A week ago, reports of significant ground uplift in several areas were received from the eruption zone. On Tuesday, July 4, a series of earthquakes began in the region, numbering in the thousands over the following days. Many of them measured over 4 on the Richter scale, with some exceeding 5. No significant structural damage has been reported.
Keflavik International Airport, Iceland's main air hub, announced on its website that there are currently no disruptions to arrivals and departures.
Tourists have already started visiting the recently awakened volcano to witness the eruption. Access was allowed because the eruption has become more predictable and does not pose a significant danger to people. Since access was granted, approximately three thousand people have visited the site.
The Norwegian Meteorological Agency reported that favorable weather is expected on Wednesday for observing the volcano, with no precipitation and winds blowing the toxic gases away.
Some tourists are cycling to the eruption zone, while wealthier individuals have booked helicopter flights to see the spectacle from above. One of the capital's companies offering such tours has already fully booked slots for several days in advance.
Although the eruption has stabilized, scientists say there is still a risk of opening new craters. However, the highest risk exists in the area where the lava flow is currently heading, posing no threat to tourists.
The eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula is occurring for the third consecutive year.
It is worth noting that one of the most destructive volcano eruptions in recent Icelandic history occurred in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in the southern part of the country erupted, releasing a massive amount of ash that disrupted air travel across Europe for several weeks. It resulted in the cancellation of 100,000 flights.
Another powerful eruption occurred in the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which awakened in mid-March 2021. Over 10,000 tourists visited the volcano during that time.